Engineering Construction Survey

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Purpose of the survey

The Engineering Construction Survey is conducted every quarter with businesses throughout Australia. Information from this survey is used to measure the contribution of the engineering construction industry to the national economy and its major input into the Australian National Accounts. Data from this survey are published in Construction Work Done, Australia and Engineering Construction Activity, Australia.

Thank you for your participation. We acknowledge and value your time and effort participating in this survey. It is only with the support of people like you that we can continue to produce Australia’s major economic statistics, which enable industry, business and government to make informed decisions.

Frequently asked questions

About this survey

What kinds of questions are asked in the Engineering Construction Survey?

This survey collects a range of information on engineering construction activity by both the private and public sectors in Australia. It seeks details on the value of construction work undertaken on:

  • Roads, highways and subdivisions
  • Bridges
  • Railways and tramways
  • Harbours
  • Water storage and supply
  • Sewerage and drainage
  • Electricity generation, transmission and distribution
  • Pipelines (other than water)
  • Recreation
  • Telecommunications
  • Heavy industry
  • Landscaping, site preparation and demolition

Why has this business been included in the Engineering Construction Survey?

The Engineering Construction Survey is answered by a selected group of businesses and organisations that represent the wider Australian engineering construction community. Businesses and organisations of a range of sizes are included so that the information collected, and estimates produced, are reflective of all engineering construction activity.

We are only a small business: should we be included in this survey?

The ABS considers the activities of small businesses and organisations to be as important as larger ones. Smaller businesses and organisations have specific characteristics and can be impacted differently by government policies and incentives. Answering the questions in the Engineering Construction Survey helps enable government and others to best design policies that support the broad range of businesses across the states and territories of Australia. Therefore, small businesses cannot be excluded from participation in ABS surveys.

How is the information from this survey used? Why is it important?

Your participation in this survey provides us with data that is essential for producing statistics on Australia's engineering construction activity. Businesses and governments make decisions based on these statistics to address policy and planning issues on how to best support Australian engineering construction businesses and organisations. The information you provide in the survey about your business is not shared with any individuals or organisations outside of the ABS.

These statistics are drawn upon by a wide variety of individuals and organisations in both the public and private sector, with major users including:

  • Reserve Bank of Australia
  • The ABS' National Accounts
  • The Australian Government Treasury and the States and Territories' treasuries
  • State and Commonwealth Government departments and agencies
  • Industry organisations and associations
  • Market analysts and economists

Do we have to answer the questions?

Yes. Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 you are obliged to provide the information requested by the ABS. All the information you provide will remain strictly confidential.

We recognise that your business may have been impacted by recent unprecedented events, including natural disasters or the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our aim is to ensure that Australia has access to the best possible information on the social and economic impacts of these events. Your participation in our surveys at this time is critical in informing our country’s response.

By completing this survey, you help to ensure the results truly reflect the current state of Australia's engineering construction activity.

You can use the final comment box at the end of the survey form to provide extra information about circumstances impacting your engineering construction activity. You can also use this box to tell us about your current business conditions and your expectations for the coming months, as well as any further comments on information you have provided in the survey.

We understand this is a difficult time and we are here to help. We will contact you if your survey participation is delayed, and we will help you if you are having difficulties.

How long will we need to participate in this survey?

The length of time that a business is selected in any particular survey will depend on factors such as the size of the business, the number of businesses with similar characteristics, and how significant the activities of the business are to the overall results.

Smaller organisations will generally be included in the quarterly survey for a minimum of three years, while some larger organisations will remain in the survey on an ongoing basis because of their significance to the survey results. However, there can be some exceptions to this rule. For example, where a small organisation has a significant impact on the survey results, these organisations may also be included in the survey on an ongoing basis. Larger businesses have a high chance of being selected in multiple ABS surveys too.

Where possible, we use data from existing administrative data sources to replace, or reduce, direct data collection from smaller businesses.

Do we have to provide figures for this survey right now?

Yes. The industry, business and government users of the statistics produced from this survey need the most accurate and timely information possible so they can make well-informed decisions which impact Australian businesses and communities.

We recognise that your business may have been impacted by recent unprecedented events, including natural disasters or the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. If your ability to respond to this survey has been impacted by these events, please contact us. If you'd like to speak to one of our team or need help providing the requested information, please call us on 1800 805 017 and we will assist you.

Will the information we provide be kept safe, secure, and confidential?

Yes. We take the security of the information you provide to us very seriously. Your completed form and personal information will remain strictly confidential to the ABS. The information is used to calculate statistics and these are only released in the form of aggregated data. The information in this survey is collected under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, ABS staff are obliged to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of information provided.

We comply with the Australian Privacy Principles. If you believe we have breached these principles, please see the information on how to lodge a complaint about privacy matters, contained within our privacy policy.

Do we still need to complete the survey if the business was sold before the beginning of, or during the reference period?

Yes. Please complete your survey form with comments indicating the sale of the entity and the date of the sale.

If the business operated by the selected entity (e.g. ABN) was sold during the reference period, then the survey should be completed using figures up to, and including, the day that the business was sold, as well as figures relating to any other new activity undertaken by the selected entity for the remainder of the reference period. Please also provide the name of the new business owners.

Do we still need to complete the survey if the business is still operating but didn't trade during the reference period?

Yes. You will need to answer a few questions indicating that the business did not trade during the reference period, and whether the business intends to trade in the future. You do not need to include any figures or zero values.

Do we still need to complete the survey if the business has gone into liquidation or administration during the reference period?

Yes. Please complete the survey using figures up to, and including, the day that the business was liquidated or went into administration. It is also important to report the date that this occurred.

If the business did not trade during the reference period, report this in the first question in the survey form.

If you are unable to access the accounts, then the liquidator or administrator should complete the survey. Where this is not possible, best available estimates of the data should be provided. Where estimates are not possible, please call us on 1800 805 017 and we will assist you.

Will we be paid for our time?

No. There is no provision within the Census and Statistics Act 1905 to reimburse individuals, businesses or organisations for the cost of providing statistical information. In line with other national statistical organisations throughout the world, individuals, businesses and other organisations are asked to supply information for statistical purposes without compensation. It is only with the support of people like you that we can continue to produce the statistics that inform Australia's important decisions.

We have already completed the Engineering Construction Survey this quarter and have received a reminder notice. What should we do?

If you have received a reminder letter or email about completing the Engineering Construction Survey it is likely that you have returned the survey at the same time that we issued the reminder notice. If you wish to confirm this, please call one of our team on 1800 805 017 and we will check our records.

How to complete this survey

How do we answer the Engineering Construction Survey?

There are two ways you can complete this survey.

1. Online
You should receive a letter with a Form Access Code to complete your survey online. Create, or log into, your ABS Survey Account. Then add your Form Access Code to complete the survey form. The same Account can be used for other ABS surveys. If you are unable to complete the survey online, or have not received the letter we sent you, please call us on 1800 805 017 and we will assist you.

The ABS Survey Account is a secure service that allows a survey form to be accessed as many times as needed before it is submitted. After submitting a form, you will not be able to access the contents. If you are concerned that you have provided incorrect information, please call us on 1800 805 017 and we will assist you.

2. Paper form
If you have received a letter with a paper form, please complete the form and return it to us using the enclosed Reply Paid envelope. Alternatively, if you would like to complete this form online, call us on 1800 805 017.

We’re having trouble completing the survey online – where can we find help?

For more information on completing our surveys online, help is available on our Survey Account Help page. This page provides assistance with technical difficulties and includes frequently asked questions which assist in creating and using the ABS Survey Account.

If you are having trouble creating or accessing your account, completing the survey online, or haven't received your Form Access Code, please call us on 1800 805 017 and we will assist you.

If you would like more general information about participating in one of our surveys, please see our Survey Participant Information page.

About the questions in the survey

How accurate do the figures need to be?

We require information to be as accurate as possible, but if exact figures are not available please provide careful estimates. The information you supply is used to produce statistics which represent businesses within the same industry operating in Australia. The more accurate the figures you supply, the more accurate the statistics will be.

Why can't we see the figures we provided last time in the current survey form?

Due to strict privacy policy guidelines protecting the information submitted by our data providers, we create new survey forms that do not contain previously submitted data.

Can we use the statistics produced from this survey?

Yes. We provide statistics free of charge on our website. Statistics produced from this survey are published in Construction Work Done, Australia and Engineering Construction Activity, Australia.

Our website also provides additional and up-to-date information over and above our existing statistical releases to enhance understanding of the economic impacts of COVID-19, in Measuring the impacts of COVID-19.

Contact us

Who can we contact for more information?

For help, or more information about this survey, please call us on 1800 805 017 during business hours. For help outside these hours, please leave a message with your contact details and we will call you back.

You can also use our online Business Surveys Contact Form to outline the details of your situation and we will be in touch.

How can we provide feedback about our involvement in this survey?

If you have participated in this survey, or any of our other surveys, we want to hear about your experience. We value your feedback and will use it to improve how we work with our survey participants.

You can use the final comment box at the end of this survey form to tell us about your experience participating in this survey, along with any suggested improvements to the form.

You can also use our feedback form to provide us with feedback. For feedback on this survey, please select the option "Participation in an ABS Business Survey".