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Newsletters - Statistics News New South Wales - Issue Number 37, December 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
NSW State Plan
Small area data about NSW: First Issue Released November 2006
Changes to export and import statistical codes
NSW residents feeling safer in their neighbourhood
Environmental snapshot: Recycling up, but e-waste a looming issue
Drought drives down water consumption
Emergency Management Information Development Plan (EMIDP)
Improving access to CURF microdata
Need help with statistics?
ABS NSW Contacts
Selected releases October to December 2006
Selected expected releases January to March 2007


Image: Ian Ewing, Regional Director, ABS NSW

Welcome to the last issue of Statistics News, NSW for 2006.

November was an important month for the state of NSW with the launch of the NSW State Plan. Developed through a process of consultation with Government, community, industry and stakeholder groups, the NSW State Plan identifies specific and measurable priorities for Government action over the next 10 years. ABS NSW are working with the NSW Premier's department and other state agencies in developing the indicators needed to assess progress in achieving the plan's goals.

In recognition of the increasing need for information about small areas, particularly for Government policy development and service delivery, November also saw the release of the first free issue of NSW Regional Statistics. Previously available only as a consultancy service, NSW Regional Statistics presents 2005 data for a range of social and economic topics for each Local Government Area in NSW. The data will be updated regularly on the ABS web site, and new data collections from both the ABS and other sources will be included as they become available.

The increased availability of administrative and survey data is one of the key reasons for the increased range of topics covered by products such as NSW Regional Statistics and NSW in Focus, and I'd like to thank NSW Government agencies for providing the ABS with data for these products. One aspect of our role in ABS NSW is to identify and research potential new sources of data about our State, and any information about new or existing data collections is always welcome.

The environment is becoming more prominent as a topic of public concern and debate, and this issue of Statistics News, NSW highlights some recent ABS publications focussing on environmental issues. Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends aims to inform decision-making, research and discussion on environmental conditions in Australia, by drawing together statistics from both ABS and other official sources. The Water Account, Australia presents information on the supply and use of water in the Australian economy.

I was pleased by the overwhelming response to the Census information sessions presented during November, and would like to thank our NSW clients for their ongoing interest in the Census. I encourage Census users to start thinking about the questions they would like to see included in the 2011 Census, as submissions close early in 2008.

Finally, I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy time over the holiday period.

Contact us here at ABS NSW. We offer a range of services to help you make informed decisions.

The NSW State Plan was launched by the Premier, Morris Iemma, on 14 November 2006.

Led by the NSW Premier's Department, the Plan was produced through a process of consultation with the whole of Government, community, Local Government, industry and stakeholder groups.

The 10 year Plan identifies 34 measurable priorities for Government action in the areas of:
    • Rights, Respect and Responsibility
    • Delivering Better Services
    • Fairness and Opportunity
    • Growing Prosperity Across NSW
    • Environment for Living

Targets have been set for each of the priorities where possible, and are measured using data from a range of sources including the NSW and Australian Governments, and the ABS.

Further information is available on the NSW Government web site.

Previously available only as a consultancy service, the ABS has recently released New South Wales Regional Statistics (cat. no. 1368.1), a free web-based product providing regional statistics from a wide range of sources.

This product provides users with a snapshot of economic and social conditions in their local region and is a useful source of data for Local Government, State Government, students, business and community organisations. Data for 2005 are presented for all Local Government Areas (LGAs) in NSW. The data are presented in excel format, providing flexibility for data manipulation. The product contains tables for a range of topics including, population, health, family and community, education, work, economic resources and activity, crime and justice, and transport. Detailed explanatory notes and geographic area comparisons are also included.

The ABS will be updating and expanding the product regularly with new data from both ABS and other sources. Providing clients with a snapshot of data for all regions across NSW, the product complements the time series data available in the National Regional Profile and the upcoming release of 2006 Census of Population and Housing data.

Access this publication on the ABS web site.

For further information contact Allan McLean on (02) 9268 4795, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email

The ABS and Australian Customs Service have released the export and import statistical codes that will apply from 1 January 2007. The statistical code changes result from the implementation of an update to the international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.

The Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) and Customs Tariff are designed for use by exporters, importers, customs brokers and freight forwarders in the classification of goods when providing export and import declarations to the Australian Customs Service, and to assist clients interpret export and import statistics published by the ABS.

Information about these changes is available in the Information Paper: Changes on 1 January 2007 to Statistical Codes in the AHECC and the Customs Tariff, 2007 (cat. no. 1233.0.55.001). Included with the information paper are correspondences between the codes of the current and the updated versions of the AHECC and the Customs Tariff, and correspondences between the updated versions of the AHECC and the Customs Tariff, and related classifications. The correspondences can be used by clients to understand how the changes impact on their statistics.

Clients receiving tailored detailed export and import statistics from the ABS will automatically receive the new statistical codes related to their subscription.

For further information contact Terry Whatman on (02) 6252 5409, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email

Results of the 2006 New South Wales Crime and Safety Survey indicate that the proportion of NSW residents who perceived no problems from crime or people creating a public nuisance in their neighbourhood has increased. In April 2006, 53% of people did not perceive any problems from crime or public nuisance in their neighbourhood, an increase on the 52% recorded in 2004 and 45% recorded in 2001.

Findings from the survey are summarised in the publication Crime and Safety, New South Wales, April 2006 (cat. no. 4509.1), released in November 2006 and available free of charge on the ABS web site. The publication contains summary details on selected household crimes of break and enter, attempted break and enter, and motor vehicle theft, and selected personal crimes of robbery, assault and sexual assault, for the 12 months prior to April 2006. It also contains information as to the number of incidents and whether the last incident was reported to the police. Data are classified by selected demographic characteristics.

For further information contact Michael Clarke on (02) 9268 4660, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email


The latest snapshot of Australia's environment was released in November, with a range of statistics collected by the ABS and other sources, presented in a format that is easy-to-read and understand.

Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends, 2006 (cat. no. 4613.0), contains a feature article on solid waste in Australia. The article looks at the emerging issues of household hazardous waste and e-waste (the popular name for electronic products nearing the end of their "useful life"). E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste types and the problem is global.

Following the feature article is a Trends section that presents a broad selection of environmental statistics and information on topical environmental issues. The Trends are divided into five sections: Population and urban, Human activity (waste and energy), Water, Atmosphere and Landscape.

The 2006 edition is the third in a series and features a useful cumulative topic index at the back which shows all the topics that have been featured in this and previous editions.

For further information contact Robyn Elphinstone on (02) 6252 5502, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email

Image: Eucalyptus trees


The Water Account, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4610.0) was released in November 2006. It is part of a series of physical environment accounts and focuses on the physical characteristics of Australia's water resources.

Key findings from the publication include:
  • Water consumption in Australia decreased by nearly 3,000 Gigalitres (GL), or 14%, between 2000-01 and 2004-05, largely due to drought.
  • For 2004-05, the Australian economy consumed 18,767 GL. The Agriculture industry accounted for 65% of this, households 11%, water supply industry 11%, manufacturing 3%, mining 2%, and electricity and gas 1%.
  • Total water consumption for NSW was higher than any other State or Territory in 2004-05, amounting to 32% of total water consumption in Australia.
  • In NSW, household water use per capita was 84 Kilolitres (KL), the second lowest of all States and Territories.
  • Household water consumption in NSW and ACT combined decreased by 10% between 2000-01 and 2004-05.
  • Of the total water consumed by the water industry in NSW (11%), water losses constituted the majority.

For further information contact Michael Vardon (02) 6252 7348, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email


The Information Paper: Emergency Management Information Development Plan (cat. no. 1385.0) was released on 31 October 2006.

The Emergency Management Information Development Plan (EMIDP) is a national framework of emergency management research initiatives in Australia. The EMIDP identifies key issues and data items for consideration; presents agreed priorities and plans for improving relevance, coverage, comparability and quality of information; and identifies responsibilities for progressing individual strands of work, and monitoring overall progress. It has been designed as a workplan for the sector and is an attempt to provide an integrated and coordinated approach to this work.

The discussion paper provides a framework to improve the information needed by the emergency management sector in Australia and sets information requirements within the context of emerging national emergency management policy. It also looks at six key priority information gaps within emergency management with associated proposals for the development of sources to fill these gaps.

Supporting the EMIDP is a detailed Data Needs Matrix (cat. no. 1385.0.55.001), a framework designed with the flexibility to reflect the wider sphere of the emergency management community's information needs. It is a living document and can adapt to suit future changes in the needs of the emergency management community and forms a basis for further consideration and organisation of priorities for research within emergency management.

The national EMIDP and the accompanying Data Needs Matrix have been developed by the Emergency Management Information Development Plan Working Group. The Working Group membership includes representatives from emergency services agencies in each state and territory as well as Australian Government agencies, with responsibilities for emergency management. In developing the EMIDP extensive consultation has taken place with a large range of Australian, state and territory agencies, as well as emergency management peak bodies and other non-government agencies.

Comments on the Matrix, or the EMIDP itself, will be referred to the Working Group to enable regular updating of the Matrix. Comments should be directed to: The Secretariat Emergency Management Information Development Plan Working Group Email:

For further information contact Jill Tomlinson on (02) 9268 4123, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email

Image: Priceless! All our online data is now free to downloadIMPROVING ACCESS TO CURF MICRODATA

A Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) is a file of responses to an ABS survey that has had specific identifying information about a person or organisation confidentialised. Each person's or organisation's response to a survey is called a unit record or Microdata.

CURF microdata is the most detailed statistical information available from the ABS. CURFs are used widely by government, universities and private sector researchers and analysts to run statistical queries on the CURF microdata using SAS, SPSS or Stata software. Almost 80 CURF microdata files are available from a wide range of ABS household and labour surveys.

To ensure microdata confidentiality is maintained, ABS requires users to submit signed legal undertakings explaining their proposed statistical use. Applications and undertakings are processed by ABS before access is granted to CURFs in any of the three access modes CD-ROM, Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and ABS Site Data Laboratory (ABSDL).

The CURF web pages on the ABS web site (go to > Services We Provide > CURFs) are your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about ABS Microdata, including what's available, what's coming soon, how CURFs are accessible, how to apply to access CURF microdata, and more. The latest news about CURFs is available in What's New and CURF Newsletters.

For further information contact Grant Mitchell on (02) 6252 5245, email

ABS NSW Statistical Consultancy Services

Our consultants can provide complete statistical solutions to enable better decision making. We offer expertise in areas including data analysis, sample selection and design, time series analysis, econometric modelling, and forms design.

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

ABS Statistical Training - Increase your workplace effectiveness by learning to apply statistical techniques

The ABS provides a range of training courses to develop your skills and improve your effectiveness when using statistical information. Courses cover a variety of subjects, such as survey design, analysing and interpreting statistical data, and sampling techniques. Information on our training services can be found on the ABS Training page of the ABS web site.

For further information contact Mazen Kassis on (02) 9268 4551, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email


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.

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.

1379.0.55.001National Regional Profile, 2000-2004
3302.0Deaths, Australia, 2005
3307.0.55.001Divorces, Australia, 2005
4602.0Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices. 2006
4906.0.55.001Personal Safety Survey: Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File, 2005
4906.0.55.002Personal Safety Survey, Australia, Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File, Technical Manual, 2005
4907.0Information Paper: Improving Statistics on Children and Youth - An Information Development Plan, 2006
5202.0 Spotlight on National Accounts, 2006
6102.0.55.001Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2006
6227.0Education and Work, Australia, 2006
6461.0Australian Consumer Price Index: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2006
8158.0Innovation in Australian Business, 2005

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.
1301.0Year Book Australia, 2007
3107.0.55.006Information Paper: Population Concepts, 2006
4100.0Information Paper: Multi-Purpose Household Survey, Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File, 2005-2006
4146.0Age-related statistics: Improving the quality, coverage and use. An Information Development Plan. Australia, 2007
4159.1.55.001General Social Survey, New South Wales, 2006
4710.0Housing and Infrastructure in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, Australia, 2006
4715.0.55.006National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Summary Booklet, 2004-05
6220.0Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, September 2006
6354.0Job Vacancies, Australia, November 2006
7111.0Principle Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary, 2005-2006
7218.0.55.001Livestock and Meat, Australia - Electronic Publication, November 2006
8635.0Tourist Accommodation, Australia, September 2006

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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