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1376.0 - Local Government and ABS (Newsletter), Mar 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/03/2007   
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About this newsletter

'Local Government and ABS' is a quarterly newsletter published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to help the Local Government Sector use statistics to assist with planning and other community servicing decisions.

This is a free newsletter and we encourage you to forward it to others and post it on your bulletin board. Anyone is welcome to receive 'Local Government and ABS' - for further details on how to subscribe see 'Newsletter contact details'.


2006 Census Data Products to be Free Online

The first release of 2006 Census results will be available for free on the ABS web site in June 2007. The Census takes a 'snapshot' of Australia every 5 years, collecting vital information on the social, economic and housing characteristics of Australian society. Several free products have been developed to provide 2006 Census data on-line.

Although results from the 2006 Census are not yet available, these new products can be sampled for free using the 2001 Census data via the following online options:

QuickStats - A quick and simple summary of key Census data relating to persons, families and dwellings.

Census Tables - Enables you to obtain Census data in a single table for a specified geographic area.

Community Profiles - Provides key Census characteristics related to persons, families and dwellings, covering most topics on the Census form.

QuickMaps - A range of thematic Census maps based on larger geographies depicting selected population, ethnicity, family, income, labour force and dwelling characteristics.

In the near future, the following products will also be available on-line.

CDATA Online - Allows users to select and combine geographic areas from a single Collection District (CD) through to an entire state/territory or Australia. This product will be available free-of-charge.

Table Builder - Aimed at experienced users of Census data, this product will allow you to design and populate your own tables of Census data via an interactive web interface. Note: Table Builder will be a charged product and is not part of the free product suite.

For further information, click on Census Homepage.

Regional Wage and Salary Earners, 2003-04

The publication 'Regional Wage and Salary Earner Statistics, Australia, 2003-04' (cat. no. 5673.0.55.001) was released in March 2007 and includes data on the characteristics of wage and salary earners in the Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) with the highest average income from wages and salaries in 2003-04 for each state and territory.

This release found that employees in mining and inner metropolitan areas generally had the highest average wage and salary incomes in Australia in 2003-04.

Employees living in the mining areas of Queensland (Broadsound, Belyando and Peak Downs), South Australia (Roxby Downs) and the Northern Territory (Groote Eylandt, Nhulunbuy, and Jabiru) had the highest average wage and salary incomes of their respective state/territory.

However, across Australia the top ten areas with the highest average income from wages and salaries were in metropolitan areas of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, with Mosman in New South Wales the highest. The majority of high earners in these areas were professionals.

Other findings include:
  • Wage and salary earners in the areas of Mosman, Woollahra and Hunter's Hill in New South Wales had the highest average wage and salary incomes in Australia at $88,658, $70,765 and $68,818 respectively.
  • Across Australia, the average wage and salary income was $38,820.
  • Wage and salary earners residing in the Australian Capital Territory had the highest average wage and salary income of all the states and territories at $44,664, followed by wage and salary earners in New South Wales ($41,407) and the Northern Territory ($40,027).
  • Wage and salary earners in Mosman and Woollahra also had the highest income from sources other than wages and salaries (eg superannuation and annuities, unincorporated business income, investments).

'Regional Wage and Salary Earner Statistics, Australia, 2003-04' is available free of charge from the ABS website or by clicking here.

Data for wage and salary earners by age, sex, income ranges and occupation are available for all SLAs across Australia in the associated data cube release, 'Regional Wage and Salary Earner Statistics, Australia - Data Cubes, 2003-04' (cat. no. 5673.0.55.003).

Natural Population Decrease in Local Government Areas

The 2005 issue of 'Deaths, Australia' (cat. no. 3302.0), released in November 2006, includes the article 'Natural Decrease in Local Government Areas'. This article identifies a number of Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Australia that have experienced natural declines in population between 2000 and 2005 and discusses some of the characteristics of their populations, such as age structure and fertility rates.

Around 7% of LGAs in Australia experienced a natural decrease in population between 2000 and 2005. The City of Holdfast Bay in South Australia experienced the largest level of natural decrease (950 more deaths than births) over the period, followed by Great Lakes (LGA) in New South Wales (620 more deaths than births). As a proportion of its population, the Borough of Queenscliffe in Victoria recorded the highest rate of natural decrease in Australia (6.7%) between 2000 and 2005.

Births and deaths data for every LGA in Australia, used to calculate natural decrease in the article, can be accessed from the following tables:

Table 4: Births, Summary, Local Government Areas, 2000–2005

Table 6: Deaths, Summary, Local Government Areas, 2000–2005

New Free Web Service to Code Addresses to Geographic Areas

Until recently, the National Localities Index (NLI) was the ABS' main tool for assigning addresses to geographical codes (geocoding). While the NLI is conceptually simple and effective, it is also inflexible as it can only be used to geocode to Statistical Local Area (SLA). As SLAs are relatively large units they poorly approximate other large non-Australian Standard Geographical Classification geographical units, such as electoral divisions or river catchments, and cannot be used to approximate smaller units such as postcodes.

As there is an increasing demand for data which cannot be met using the NLI, the ABS is replacing the NLI with the AddressCoder@ABS and is introducing a new geographical unit called the Mesh Block. In much the same way that building blocks can be combined to form almost any shaped structure, Mesh Blocks are micro level geographical units that can be combined to represent most other geographical areas.

The AddressCoder@ABS is presently part of the demonstration phase of the National Data Network. It is provided free-of-charge as a web-based service that allows users to code addresses to several Australian Standard Geographical Classification areas including not only Mesh Blocks, but also Census Collection Districts and Statistical Local Areas. To use the AddressCoder@ABS, a user is required install the NDN client software and to convert their addresses into XML format (Extensible Markup Language). The AddressCoder@ABS then assigns a classification area to each address and returns the original addresses and geographical codes.

To use the AddressCoder@ABS, users must be registered to the NDN and agree to a set of conditions. Registration to the NDN is free and can be completed via the link provided below.

For more information, please click on the following links:

Geocode National Address File National Data Network National Localities Index

What's happening in Local Government Finance?

Collections

The ABS' Local Government Statistics Unit (LGSU) recently finalised data for the 2005-06 Local Government Finance Collection. These data will be included in the publication 'Government Finance Statistics, Australia' (Cat No. 5512.0), to be released on 3 April 2007. This publication contains consolidated financial statements for the Local Government sector in each state/territory, together with a dissection of expenses by purpose. This publication and related datacubes will be available free of charge through the ABS website www.abs.gov.au.

The ABS thanks councils for their cooperation in providing data for this collection. The data are used in making important policy decisions concerning the sector and it is important that accurate and timely information is returned by councils in building this data set.

Other upcoming events include the March cycle of the quarterly Local Government Finance collection. The due date for councils to return the completed form will be 11 April 2007. Please note that the due date is only 2 days after the Easter public holidays. Council cooperation in meeting this date would be greatly appreciated.

Visits to Departments of Local Government and Grants Commissions

Each year the LGSU endeavours to meet with each of the state/territory Grants Commissions or Departments of Local Government to review the recently completed annual collection and to commence preparations for the next cycle. These meetings are currently planned for May and June of this year.

Contact

For further information or inquiries about Local Government Statistics, contact (07) 3222 6022 and ask for the Local Government Statistical Unit.

Upcoming newsletter to provide national coverage with a regional focus

The Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the 'What's New in Regional Statistics' newsletter. This biannual release will deliver information on ABS statistics and developments relevant to users of small area statistics around Australia. It will also showcase the breadth of statistics available for decision-makers at a local level. The first release of this newsletter is planned for April 2007.

Given the related nature of this new newsletter, subscribers to 'Local Government and the ABS' will be automatically subscribed to 'What's New in Regional Statistics' and will receive the first issue in April and future issues twice yearly unless they choose to unsubscribe. If you do not wish to receive 'What's New in Regional Statistics', send an e-mail to regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with the subject: 'Unsubscribe - What's New in Regional Statistics'.

If you are not currently a subscriber to 'Local Government and the ABS' and wish to receive 'What's New in Regional Statistics', send an e-mail to regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with the subject: 'Subscribe - What's New in Regional Statistics'.

ABS Statistics Free Online and Free ABS Training

ABS Statistics Free Online

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is committed to providing statistical leadership and encouraging informed decision-making, research and discussion within governments, business and the community.

As part of the ABS' on-going commitment to ensuring all Australians have access to up-to-date, objective and reliable statistical information, all statistics on our web site, www.abs.gov.au, can be accessed free of charge. The ABS web site also provides statistical solutions in the form of feature articles and information papers.

Free ABS Training

The goal of the ABS' Information Skills Program (ISP) is to promote access to, understanding and use of, ABS statistics. It focusses on adult learners in the general community and in government agencies.

The ISP is a nationally coordinated and decentralised program, with an ISP Consultant providing services from each ABS Regional Office. The ISP provides training to clients, learning materials on the ABS web site, promotions and client support. If you are interested in arranging training for your organisation please contact the friendly ISP Manager in your state.


NSW
Anne Freer
(02) 9268 4569
VIC
Heather Burns
(03) 9615 7535
QLD
Judy Tayt
(07) 3222 6181
SA
Pam Balfour
(08) 8237 7588
WA
Margaret Garner
(08) 9360 5127
TAS
Scott Calver
(03) 6222 5812
NT
Pia Loffley
(08) 8943 2110
ACT
Nicola Cross
(02) 6252 6606

Recent ABS releases

Be informed of the latest ABS releases relevant to Local Government

As an additional service to current subscribers to the 'Local Government and the ABS' e-mail notifications will be made advising of ABS releases that are relevant to Local Government users of ABS statistics. This new initiative will help subscribers stay informed of current releases as they happen, rather than waiting for quarterly updates.

As a subscriber to 'Local Government and the ABS' you will automatically receive these notifications. However, if you do not wish to be notified when relevant publications are released, e-mail regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with the subject 'Unsubscribe - New release notification'.

If you do not currently subscribe to 'Local Government and the ABS' and wish to receive these notifications of new releases, please email regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with 'Subscribe - New release notification' in the subject line.


Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2005-06 (Cat. No. 3218.0)

'Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2005-06' (cat. no. 3218.0), released on 27 February 2007, highlights regional population growth or decline throughout Australia. It includes estimated resident population and annual growth rates for each Local Government Area, Statistical Division and Statistical District in Australia (for the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory, Statistical Subdivisions are also included).

While the written publication provides estimated resident populations for these regions as at June 2001, 2005 and 2006, the associated electronic spreadsheets provide population estimates down to the Statistical Local Area level as at June for all years from 1996 to 2006.


Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, Australia, September 2006 (Cat. No. 8635.0.55.002)

This publication was released on 16 January 2007 and contains results from the on-going quarterly Survey of Tourist Accommodation. The publication provides information on the supply of, and demand for, tourist accommodation facilities with information on the number of establishments, capacity and employment for the quarter and occupancy and takings from accommodation for each month; by type of establishment and by star grading.

This publication is a useful reference for policy makers and industry monitors and advisers. Information is presented for each state/territory and Australia and by Tourism Regions as defined by the respective state/territory tourism commissions.


Experimental Estimates of Regional Water Use, Australia, 2004-05 (Cat. No. 4610.0.55.002)

As part of the Australian Water Resources 2005 project, the ABS was funded by the National Water Commission to model water use data from the Water Account, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4610.0) to a lower spatial level; namely, Water Management Areas (WMAs).

The results were published in 'Experimental Estimates of Regional Water Use, Australia, 2004-05' (cat. no. 4610.0.55.002) released on 14 December 2006. This publication includes regional water use data on 117 individual water management areas and 51 groups of two or more water management areas. This publication also documents the methodology used to produce the experimental estimates of regional water use (consumption) for WMAs during 2004-05 and the associated explanatory material.


Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (Cat. No. 6291.0.55.001)
This monthly publication provides summary results of the monthly Labour Force Survey containing estimates of employed and unemployed persons classified by sex, full-time/part-time status, states and territories and some age groups; and persons not in the labour force. Data are also released for Statistical Regions and can be found in Table 16.


New South Wales Regional Statistics, 2006 (cat. no. 1368.1)

Previously available only as a consultancy service, the ABS has recently released 'New South Wales Regional Statistics' (cat. no. 1368.1), as 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 with data provided for all Local Government Areas and selected regions in New South Wales (NSW).

This product contains tables for a range of topics including Population, Family and Community, Health, Education, Work, Economic Resources, Crime and Justice, Transport and Economic Activity. Detailed explanatory notes and geographic area comparisons are also included.

The ABS will be updating and expanding this product regularly with new data - including both ABS data and data from other sources. 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 by providing clients with a snapshot of data for all regions across NSW.

For further information contact Allan McLean on (02) 9268 4795.


Links to previous issues of Local Government and ABS

Local Government and ABS Issue 16 December 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 15 September 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 14 July 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 13 April 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 12 January 2006

Newsletter and ABS Contact Details

This newsletter is one way to help improve communication between the ABS and the Local Government Sector. New ABS initiatives to assist local government organisations will be announced in this newsletter as they evolve.


We would appreciate receiving your views and suggestions about this newsletter so that it remains useful and assists you to understand and use ABS statistics. We would also welcome suggestions for articles that you feel should be included. Please email your comments and suggestions to regional.statistics@abs.gov.au or telephone (08) 8237 7315.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please send an email to
regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with 'Subscribe - Local Government and ABS' in the subject line.

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter: send an email to
regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with 'Unsubscribe - Local Government and ABS' in the subject line.

To find this newsletter on the
ABS Website:

For enquiries contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or e-mail: client.services@abs.gov.au.

Links to previous issues of Local Government and ABS

Local Government and ABS Issue 16 December 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 15 September 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 14 July 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 13 April 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 12 January 2006

Newsletter and ABS Contact Details

This newsletter is one way to help improve communication between the ABS and the Local Government Sector. New ABS initiatives to assist local government organisations will be announced in this newsletter as they evolve.


We would appreciate receiving your views and suggestions about this newsletter so that it remains useful and assists you to understand and use ABS statistics. We would also welcome suggestions for articles that you feel should be included. Please email your comments and suggestions to regional.statistics@abs.gov.au or telephone (08) 8237 7315.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please send an email to
regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with 'Subscribe - Local Government and ABS' in the subject line.

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter: send an email to
regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with 'Unsubscribe - Local Government and ABS' in the subject line.

To find this newsletter on the
ABS Website:

For enquiries contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or e-mail: client.services@abs.gov.au.

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