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Newsletters - Statistics News New South Wales - Issue Number 36, September 2006

Statistics News NSW provides the latest information about ABS statistics including new developments, seminars and reviews.


Message from the NSW Regional Director - Ian Ewing
Accessing 2006 Census Data Will Be Even Easier...
New Census Products
NSW Department of Planning Signs Up with Demonstration Data Network
Personal Safety at Home and in the Community
Measuring Learning in Australia
Upcoming Social Statistics
NSW Agricultural Profile
Snapshot of Retail and Wholesale Business
ABS NSW Statistical Consultancy Services
ABS Statistical Training
Guide to finding statistics about NSW
ABS NSW Office Contacts
Selected Releases July to September 2006
Selected Expected Releases October to November 2006


Welcome to the latest edition of Statistics News NSW

August has been a big month for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with 12,000 extra people recruited here in New South Wales to help us carry out Australia's 15th Census. Perhaps less well known is that we are also currently undertaking a full Census of Australia's farms - 189,000 Agricultural Survey forms were sent out in June. A new innovation introduced for both these collections is the use of "Mesh Blocks".

Mesh Blocks are the new basic building block of Australia's statistical geography. They are standard small areas in which each household, farm and place of work is located. NSW is divided into about 91,500 Mesh blocks. The advantage is that data can be produced more easily for regions of interest to users, and changes can be tracked more accurately over time, as Mesh Block boundaries will remain more stable. In addition, Mesh Blocks will be so small that they will be able to aggregate reasonably accurately to any geographical region. ABS is actively encouraging all government agencies holding data in areas like health, justice, education, welfare and transport to adopt the Mesh Block as the standard for geographic coding. We can support the adoption of Mesh Blocks with coding tools, advice and assistance.

We have been particularly pleased with the level of public interest in the Census and the positive coverage received from the news media in NSW. I would also like to thank State and Local Government agencies for their help in making the Census a success.

This edition of Statistics News highlights our new proposals for making Census data easier to find and use. These include 'quick maps' which are a better way to display Census data for regions; enhanced community profiles to help you find the data about the communities of interest to you; and a new table building facility that draws on the whole Census data file. All these facilities are being introduced early, using 2001 Census data, and will be available at Larissa Wharton has been appointed to help people in the NSW Government get the most from the Census, so call or email Larissa if you need assistance or advice, see page 3 or 9 for her contact details.

I'd like to welcome the NSW Department of Planning to the National Data Network (NDN). Joining NDN is the way for State and Federal Government agencies to make their data holdings accessible to a wider pool of users as well as the channel for enhanced access to ABS and other agency statistics, and to statistical tools and services. We're keen to talk with other State agencies about the benefits of being part of the NDN.

Contact us here at ABS NSW. Our people are here to help you find the facts you need for your research, policy development and decision making.

Image: Ian Ewing


For the 2006 Census, a new, simplified web interface has been developed by the ABS. This interface guides the user through a series of steps which will enable access to products relevant to their needs. This ongoing process demonstrates ABS's commitment towards making greater use of the Internet, catering for the broad range and experience of users, and providing better access to self-help services.

A taste of what is to come...
Sample Census statistics in their new format via the ABS web site by following the Census Data link on the Census home page. This is a valuable opportunity to familiarise yourself with the new, simplified interface before the 2006 data is available. Bookmark and follow the Census link to check out new Census developments as they happen.

Census Update (cat. no. 2902.0) is a free periodic newsletter to keep clients informed of developments in Census products and services. Census Update highlights recent and forthcoming releases, provides comments on Census data and advises readers of upcoming user forums. You can sign up to receive Census Update by emailing and typing 'add to Census email' in the subject field. You can unsubscribe at any time.

An information session demonstrating 2006 Census products and services will be held in Sydney in mid November. For further information contact Larissa Wharton on (02) 9268 4376, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email


Access 2001 Census data for free via the following online options:
  • New Quickstats – quick and simple summary of key Census data about people, families and dwellings.
  • New Census Tables – product that offers you the chance to obtain Census data in a single table for a specified geographic area.
  • Community Profiles – series of profiles providing key Census characteristics about people, families and dwellings, covering most topics on the Census form.

More new Census products will be available online in the future:
  • Quickmaps – range of thematic Census maps based on larger geographies depicting selected population, ethnicity, family, income, labour force and dwelling characteristics.
  • CDATA Online – sophisticated product aimed at offering expert clients freedom to select and combine geographic areas from a single Collection District (CD) through to an entire state/territory or Australia.
  • Table Builder – aimed at experienced users of Census data, this product will allow trained users to design and populate your own tables of Census data via an interactive web interface.

The Census Dictionary and other information will be available through Census of Population and Housing: Census Guide 2006 (cat. no. 2914.0.30.001), expected to be released in October 2006.


The National Data Network (NDN) Business Office welcomes the NSW Department of Planning to the demonstration phase of the NDN. The NSW Department of Planning joins the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in having nodes up and running. A number of other agencies are also installing nodes (a metadata library of what data agencies have made available in the NDN) with a view to becoming active participants very soon.

An upgrade of the software has seen improvements in searching and access control. Software to control access to restricted data will be made available. This will enable nodes to load the metadata for those products which require restricted access to the data. The node upgrade will allow agencies to share restricted datasets and services such as the addresscoder@ABS, with members signed to other nodes. Currently restricted data and services are made available to members signed to that node or sponsored by the organisation. Currently also in development is a Mesh Block coder with facility to code single addresses and bulk code up to 3,000 addresses.

For more information on the demonstration NDN contact Anne Bartlett on (02) 9268 4154, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email
Image: National Data Network


Personal Safety, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 4906.0) was released on 10 August 2006. The Personal Safety Survey expands on the 1996 Women's Safety Survey and includes men in the sample for the first time. The survey provides information on people's safety at home and in the community, and in particular, on the nature and extent of violence against people in Australia. The survey also provides information about harassment and stalking.

Information was collected about: people's experiences of physical or sexual assault or threat, by female or male perpetrators; people's experience of current and previous partner violence including frequency and fears of violence; and incidents of stalking, harassment and general feelings of safety. A range of demographic information has also been collected. The publication presents information about people's experiences of violence in the last 12 months and since the age of 15 and the relationship of victim to offender. Information about specific incidents, such as where the incident occurred, whether police were told, injury received and whether alcohol or drugs contributed to the incident are also available.

Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2005 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003) and Personal Safety Survey, Australia: State Tables, 2005 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.004) are also available. For further information contact Fiona Dowsley on (03) 9615 7641, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email LEARNING IN AUSTRALIA

Information Paper: Measuring Learning in Australia: A Profile of Participation and Outcomes, 2006 (cat. no. 4234.0.55.001), is expected to be released in December 2006. This information paper presents a proposed suite of measures that provide a picture of the education and training pathways and outcomes of Australians. The proposed measures are considered to provide relevant and quality data for comparable analysis across states and territories. Descriptions and evaluations of each measure are included as well as national data and examples of analyses. The paper provides an opportunity for input and further discussion among researchers and the community.

For further information contact Lee Johnson on (02) 6252 6909, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email

Later this year, the ABS Methodology Division will be releasing a paper which reviews the Apparent Retention Rate: Research Paper: Towards Better National Measures of Engagement in Secondary Education (cat. no. 1351.0). This paper outlines new approaches to analysing existing National Schools Statistics Collection data in order to improve the relevance and analytical integrity of participation, retention and progression measures. Clear definitions and methodology of these measures are detailed in the publication. The paper provides an opportunity for debate amongst researches, the education sector and the community.

For further information contact Lee Johnson on (02) 6252 6909, or Peter Rossiter on (02) 6252 6024, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email SOCIAL STATISTICS

Pregnancy and Work Transitions, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 4913.0) is expected to be released on 23 October 2006. Pregnancy and Work Transitions is a new survey topic. It will provide important statistics about the experiences of women with young children, including some aspects of women's working experiences while pregnant and after returning to paid work, as well as the use of leave by women and their partners following the birth of a child.

For further information contact Heather Crawford on (02) 6252 5742, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email

Information Paper: Improving Statistics on Children and Youth - An Information Development Plan, 2006 (cat. no. 4907.0) is expected to be released in November. This paper identifies the agreed priority areas and actions for information development in the area of children and youth. The paper also presents the key issues in the policy field of children and youth for which statistical information is required, lists currently available data sources relevant to these issues and identifies gaps in the data supply.

For further information contact Lesley Martin on (08) 9360 5320, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email

Image: Priceless, All our online data is now free to downloadNSW AGRICULTURAL PROFILE

Agricultural State Profile, NSW, 2004-05 (cat. no. 7123.1.55.001) was released in July. It covers farm numbers, agricultural production and the state's agricultural contribution to the economy, with some data provided at the Statistical Division level.

Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 7121.0), provides final estimates for major agriculture outputs and activity. It contains tables and broad commentary on agriculture industry structure, area and production of crops, livestock numbers, livestock products and land management.

Summary results from the survey showed:
  • Oat production fell by 36% to 1.3 million tonnes, with falls reported in the three main growing states of New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria.
  • Barley production fell by 25% to 7.7 million tonnes, with all states reporting falls.
  • Sheep and lamb numbers were unchanged at 101 million head. Decreases in New South Wales and South Australia were offset by increases in Victoria and Western Australia.
  • Meat cattle numbers rose slightly to 24.7 million, with increases in all states except New South Wales.

For further information contact Gordon Cameron on (03) 6222 5939, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email OF RETAIL AND WHOLESALE BUSINESS

The ABS is conducting a survey of retail and wholesale businesses in respect of the 2005-06 financial year. Survey questionnaires were despatched to a sample of approximately 16,000 businesses across Australia in August 2006. The survey will provide a detailed snapshot of the retail and wholesale industries. Government policy makers and private sector analysts will use this information to assess the effectiveness of their policies and programs.

Data available from the survey will include:
  • Business counts, employment, income and expenses
  • Commodity sales and gross margins
  • Selected performance indicators, e.g. operating profit before tax, industry value added.

Data will be released in the publications Retail Industry, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 8622.0), Wholesale Industry, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 8638.0), and several associated spreadsheets. These products will be available for free download from the ABS web site in mid 2007. More detailed data may be available on a customised basis on request.

For further information contact William Milne on (03) 9615 7862 or go to the ABS web site [Survey Participant Information – Retail and Wholesale Economic Activity Survey 2005-06].ABS NSW STATISTICAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES

The ABS NSW Statistical Consultancy service offers complete statistical solutions to enable informed decision making. Our consultants have the expertise to help you clarify your objectives and plan your project effectively. Our services allow access to professional statisticians with wide ranging experience and expertise in survey design, data analysis, and specialist knowledge in a range of statistical fields including time series analyses, econometric modelling and forms design.

Some examples of consultancies undertaken include:
  • Sample design, sample selection and advice on estimation procedures for a household survey.
  • Formulation of survey objectives and development of tender requests for statistical work.

Please contact us if you would like to clarify your problem and explore possible statistical solutions through our Consultancy Services.

For further information contact Anne Bartlett on (02) 9268 4154 or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email


The ABS provides a range of statistical training courses, covering a variety of subjects areas including: analysing survey data; sampling techniques; survey and questionnaire design; calculating indicators; communicating statistical data; assessing data quality; and understanding demographic data. These courses cater for beginners as well as those at a more advanced level, and are an ideal way to increase your workplace effectiveness. They are attended by clients from state and local government as well as universities, non-government and private organisations. Courses can also be tailored to meet specific organisational needs.

During the next quarter the ABS NSW Office will be running the following courses:

Turning Data Into Information, 12-13 October 2006:
An introductory course in interpreting, communicating and displaying data. It will benefit people who produce reports or social commentary, or those who monitor and evaluate social data.

Basic Survey Design, November 2006:
An introductory course providing a broad overview of all facets of survey development. It is ideal for those wishing to conduct a sample survey or seeking a better understanding of the issues involved in the survey process.

For further information contact the Training Coordinator on (02) 9268 4183 or visit the ABS Training page on our web site.


Looking for statistics about NSW? The ABS provides information about Australian states and territories and regions that make up our states and territories.

On the ABS Web Site:
NSW in Focus (cat. no. 1338.1), is the premier reference guide for information on NSW. It presents up-to-date relevant information on the social, demographic and economic structure of NSW, drawn from both ABS and non-ABS sources. Note: Many ABS national publications also include information about NSW.

Regional statistics:
National Regional Profile, 2004 (cat. no. 1379.0.55.001) for states/territories (down to Local Government Areas, suburbs, etc.) include data from ABS and other sources. Each profile includes information about land area, population, births and deaths, remoteness, unemployment, income support data, wage and salary earners, new vehicle sales and building approvals:
  • Click on Regional Statistics, then ‘Main areas - by Name’ under ‘Regional Statistics’ on the left hand side of the ABS home page
  • Click on the NSW link for whole-of-NSW figures, or drill down to smaller areas
  • Double click to open and view
  • Alternatively, use the map provided by drilling down to the area you want.

Theme page for NSW:
A web page that provides useful links to help you select relevant ABS products and services and useful links:
  • From the ABS home page, click on the Themes link in the navigator bar near the top or bottom
  • Select the 'NSW' link under 'Regional Statistics'.

Image: New South Wales in FocusABS NSW OFFICE CONTACTS

NSW ABS Bookshop and Library
Level 5, St Andrews House, Cnr Kent and Bathurst Sts, Sydney.
Phone: (02) 9268 4953
Open: 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Wednesday, Friday; and 9.00am to 3.00pm Thursday (excl. public holidays)

ABS Web Site

ABS National Information and Referral Service (NIRS)
ABS NIRS is the first point of contact for all your statistical and publication enquiries. NIRS can be contacted from anywhere in Australia between 8:30am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday
Telephone: 1300 135 070
Fax: 1300 135 211

NSW Regional Director: Ian Ewing (02) 9268 4236

Director Statistical Coordination: Peter Damcevski (02) 9268 4238

Statistical Consultancy: Anne Bartlett (02) 9268 4154

Statistical Training: Mazen Kassis on (02) 9268 4551

Census Liaison Officer: If you would like information on products and services from the 2006 Census, please contact Larissa Wharton on (02) 9268 4376.

Statistics News NSW Newsletter: If you would like to be placed on our free electronic mailing list, or make suggestions about the content or usability of this newsletter, please contact Kellie Browning on (02) 9268 4492.

Other Selected ABS Newsletters
For links to other ABS Newsletters click on 'News & Media' on the ABS web site tool bar:
Age Matters Issue Number 19, July 2006
Environment and Energy News Issue 2, June 2006
Innovation and Technology Update Bulletin No. 14, August 2006
Library Extension Program LEP Newsletter 56 - May 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 14, July 2006
National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics March 2006
National Children and Youth Statistics Children and Youth News Issue 7
Transport Statistics Update August 2006

ABS publications are available to download free from the ABS Web Site.
To enquire about release dates, please contact the National Information & Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

ABS Catalogue No.
1220.0Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), 2006
1351.0.55.015Research Paper: Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas: Introduction, Use and Future Directions, 2006
1379.0.55.001National Regional Profile, 2004
1380.0.55.003Perspectives on Regional Australia: Household Expenditure throughout Australia, 2003-04
4620.0Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms, 2004-05
4622.0Water Supply, Australia, 2004-05
4623.0Characteristics of Australia's Irrigated Farms, 2000-01 to 2003-04
4831.0.55.001 Tobacco Smoking in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05
4833.0.55.001Health of Older People in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05
7123.1.55.001Agricultural State Profile, NSW, 2004-05
8104.0Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2004-05
8126.0Information and Communication Technology, Australia, 2004-05

ABS publications are available to download free from the ABS Web Site.
To enquire about release dates, please contact the National Information & Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

ABS Catalogue No.
1385.0Emergency Management Information Development Plan, 2006
2914.0.30.001Census of Population and Housing: Census Guide, 2006
4527.0 National Criminal Courts Data Dictionary, 2005
4602.0Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices, 2006
4613.0Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends, 2006
4819.0.55.001Asthma in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05
4825.0.55.001Injury in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05
4907.0Information Paper: Improving Statistics on Children and Youth – An Information Development Plan, 2006
4913.0Pregnancy and Work Transitions, Australia, 2005
5204.0Australian System of National Accounts, 2005-06
5220.0Australia's National Accounts: State Accounts, 2005-06
8112.0Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2004-05

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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