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NT agricultural producers asked to help their industry: ABS (Media Release)
 
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MEDIA RELEASE
September 18, 2006
Embargoed 11.30am (AEST)
84/2006

NT agricultural producers asked to help their industry: ABS

Vegetable growers and livestock producers in the Northern Territory (NT) are being asked to assist their industry and return outstanding Agricultural Census forms to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as soon as possible. To facilitate this, the ABS has begun to telephone, or contact by mail, all producers who have not yet returned their questionnaires.

"Your information helps develop a complete and accurate picture of agricultural production in the Northern Territory so we are making every effort to ensure everyone contributes," advised Gemma Van Halderen, head of the Agriculture Statistics Program at the ABS.

The results of the Agricultural Census are used by industry and government to enhance local infrastructure, support claims for exceptional circumstances assistance, develop R&D programs and bid for new export contracts.

President of the Northern Territory Horticultural Association,Tom Harris, says "the future funding of our industry is directly affected by this information. It is in the industry's best interest that all growers return their Agricultural Census form".

The Agricultural Census forms were distributed in June and the ABS and industry groups are reminding producers to act now.

The Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association Executive Director, Stuart Kenny, also strongly encourages members to respond as "Census output gives us a great insight into where our industry is headed".

Information collected in the Agricultural Census is confidential. The ABS is interested in data about the community as a whole and only summary information is released.

Gemma Van Halderen said that the public had traditionally been most cooperative. "This demonstrates confidence in the ability of the ABS to collect and process confidential information," she said.

The 2006 Agricultural Census forms were due back by mid July. The initial results are due to be released early next year.

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