ABS responds to article ''Foreign Investment to continue'' (The Weekly Times, 11 Jan 2012)

In response to Cimara Pearce's article of 11 January 2012 'Foreign Investment to continue' that suggests the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Agricultural Land and Water Ownership Survey (ALWOS) 2011 was voluntary in nature and small in size, I provide the following information in correction.

The ALWOS was a large survey, with a sample of 11,000 agricultural businesses which represented the Australian farming industry. The final response rate for the survey was 92% - that is 92% of businesses which were surveyed returned their survey forms and contributed to the estimates from the survey. The level of response is considered to be very good and the cooperation of agricultural businesses in this survey is appreciated by the ABS.

The ALWOS was not voluntary in nature. It was compulsory and conducted under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

Peter Harper
Deputy Australian Statistician
Australian Bureau of Statistics