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As many of you know, the ABS is introducing a new geography classification system, the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). From 1 July 2011 the ABS will progressively implement the ASGS for use in the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics. While some similarities remain between the ASGS and the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) it replaces, the two frameworks are fundamentally distinct and have considerable differences between their respective regions, both in their geographical extent and conceptual foundation.
Most ABS collections will be reporting on ASGS regions by 2012, with Building Approvals to be the first ABS data released on the ASGS in August 2011. The ASGS will be replacing the ASGC as the main geographical framework for the 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Under the ASGS, Census Collection Districts will no longer exist. Instead the ASGS is built up from small area geographies called Mesh Blocks, which aggregate to Statistical Area Level 1s (SA1s) - the smallest region upon which 2011 Census data will be released.
The ASGS separates the geographic regions defined by the ABS from other administrative boundaries, such as Local Government Areas, which are not defined by the ABS. Under the ASGS, data will continue to be output for Local Government Areas.
The ABS will publish selected statistics concurrently on both ASGC and ASGS geographies for a short period and some older data will be converted to ASGS regions to create a time series. Detailed information on individual collections will be released on the ABS website through individual information papers. The ABS geography portal will provide a summary of this information along with links to the ASGS publications, fact sheets on ASGS regions and correspondence files for converting data.
To help our clients understand the new geography a series of information sessions were held in Melbourne early June 2011. The largest of these sessions (pictured below) was held on the 2nd June at the Spring Street Theatre and was attended by over 170 clients from Federal, State and Local Government, as well as many private industry organisations.
For more information on the ASGS please visit the ABS Geography portal at www.abs.gov.au/geography. If you have any further questions about the ASGS or how the changes may impact your own data operations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW GEOGRAPHY IN THE BUILDING APPROVALS DATA
The April 2011 issue of the Building Approvals, Australia (cat. no. 8731.0) publication, released on 31 May 2011, included a feature article highlighting the implementation of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) in ABS building approvals collection, outlining the data items that will be available post-ASGS implementation.
The key points of the article are:
For further information about the implementation of the ASGS in the Building Approvals collection or changes to outputs please telephone the Building Approvals section on (08) 8237 7648.
Topics @ a Glance - ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLES
Recently the ABS showcased a proposed redesign of the Theme pages on BetaWorks. Feedback and support to the proposed design has been positive and as a result we have now changed to the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Topics @ a Glance page layout. The changes are designed to make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander information more visible and create a simpler and more positive experience for users of the ABS web site.
The new Topics @ a Glance pages are in-line with the Framework for measuring Well-being: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (cat. no. 4703.0). Basic data is available for each topic in an easy to use format, with doclinks to more detailed data and information.
New features of Topics @ a Glance are:
The Australian Community Indicators Network (ACIN) aims to assist people using or developing community indicators to share ideas and information, and to foster collaboration. The ABS Victoria hosted an ACIN seminar in May 2011 with approximately 100 participants from local, state and federal government, university sectors and community groups across Australia attending via video conference.
A presentation from Associate Professor Meg Holden, on Best Practice and Emerging Principles in the Community Indicator Movement, provided an overview of new developments in the realm of community and urban indicators around the world. The seminar also provided an opportunity for participants to discuss work currently being undertaken in developing and using community indicators within Australia. A recording of this seminar and the presentation slides can now be accessed from the National Statistical Service (NSS) website.
The next ACIN seminar will be held in September.
MEASURING AUSTRALIA'S PROGRESS WORKSHOP
The ABS Measures of Australia's Progress (MAP) publication is designed to help Australians address the question, ’Is life in Australia getting better?’ by providing social, economic and environmental indicators to assess how our country is progressing. The ABS is currently undertaking public consultations to generate a national discussion about what matters to Australians in terms of national progress. The first consultation was held in Victoria in May 2011, with a wide range of discussions generated from participants on the key goals and aspirations that matter to Australians. This feedback will be used to develop a new framework for MAP, to not only ensure the ABS is collecting data that targets key issues, but to also make it easier to assess how Australia is progressing.
To find out more information about the consultation please visit the MAP blog at www.abs.gov.au/about/progress/blog.
CONSULTATION - REVIEW OF COUNTING THE HOMELESS
The ABS has completed discussion forums in all capital cities on the Discussion Paper: Methodological Review of Counting the Homeless, 2006 (cat. no. 2050.0.55.001). This was part of a three month period of engagement on the initial findings in the review.
The consultation will be used to inform the final methodology for the ABS producing official estimates of homeless people based on Census data from 2001 onwards. The ABS will publish a response to the consultation and a clear statement of areas where further work will be required to provide official estimates. This will be published on 2 August.
The Census team and the homelessness services sector are working closely to ensure that people who are homeless are counted in the Census. The next Census, being held on 9 August 2011, includes everyone in Australia on Census night no matter where they are sleeping.