5271.0.55.002 - Information Paper: Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts, Australia, 2013  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/12/2013  First Issue
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In Australia and internationally, there is strong interest in the role of ‘cultural’ and ‘creative’ activity in the economy, such as highlighted by Australia’s National Cultural Policy Creative Australia. These terms are often used to describe activities connected with the arts, media, heritage, design, fashion and information technology.

In June 2013, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) published its proposals on how to measure the economic contribution of these activities in Discussion Paper: Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts (cat. no. 5271.0.55.001). The discussion paper also invited stakeholders to give feedback on the proposals so these could be taken into account before the ABS’ views were finalised. The purpose of this information paper is to present the ABS’ final views and plans to take this work forward.

Overall, stakeholders from government, academia and industry are highly supportive of the ABS’ proposed approach, the data which would be used, and the investment priorities. Stakeholders’ comments and queries to the discussion paper were mostly about:

  • recognising cultural and creative activity provide social benefits beyond their contribution to the economy;
  • clarifying the scope of the satellite accounts and the concept of ‘creative’ activity;
  • the capacity to develop estimates of activity for certain geographic areas and population groups; and
  • the frequency and timeliness of the satellite accounts.

As a result of the high level of support among stakeholders, the ABS has decided to adopt the proposals presented in the discussion paper. New funding provided by the federal and state and territory governments through the Cultural Ministers' Statistics Working Group has also made it possible for the ABS to proceed with the construction of the first cultural and creative activity satellite accounts for Australia. The first satellite accounts will be for the 2008-09 reference year and have the tag of ‘experimental’ which designates they may require refinement after user feedback is received. The potential to produce state and territory splits of the satellite accounts will be further assessed once the Australian accounts have been completed. The Australian satellite accounts are scheduled to be published on 10 February 2014.

The ability to produce the satellite accounts for future reference years will depend on the continued availability of investment funds from stakeholders, as well as the continued availability of the various input data needed to construct the accounts (particularly the ABS’ input-output tables).

Inquiries from stakeholders will continue to be welcome as the ABS moves ahead with these plans to construct the Australian satellite accounts. The ABS will also welcome opportunities to collaborate with organisations undertaking similar work for other nations, and to collaborate towards the development of international standards like those which exist for other types of satellite accounts.

Inquiries may be forwarded to:
    Assistant Director
    National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics
    Australian Bureau of Statistics
    GPO Box 2272
    Adelaide SA 5001
    E-mail: nccrs@abs.gov.au