11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007
ABS STATISTICS FREE FROM FRIDAY
Many thousands of community groups, non-government organisations and businesses will benefit from 1 July when the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) drops most current charges for information via the internet.
The service means that electronic copies of ABS publications and related statistical tables will be free to any member of the public with internet access.
With many electronic publications currently costing from $20.00 to $40.00 each, the new service dramatically cuts the cost of accessing ABS information.
This statistical bonus to the community was made possible by the May 2005 budget initiative which provided additional funding to the ABS to strengthen and improve official statistics.
This news will greatly assist the large number of organisations and businesses which draw on ABS statistics to help them make informed decisions on many different projects and programs that improve the lives of individual Australians.
In addition to community groups, the more than four million Australian households with internet access will also be able to use ABS's wealth of data and publications from their own homes.
The Australian Government recognises the importance of access to official statistics in providing a reliable and up-to-date view of Australian society, the economy and the environment.
This initiative is consistent with the Government's Backing Australia's Ability policy, and will ensure decision-makers within the Australian Government and state/territory governments, business and the community have readily available statistical information with which to make informed decisions.
ABS statistics show that internet access by Australian households has increased from 16% of all households in 1998 to 53% in 2003. The access rate by all businesses in 2004 was 74% - which represented more than 500,000 businesses.
ABS expects that having free electronic publications available will cause a jump in usage of its web site (www.abs.gov.au) from the current rate of 50 million page views per year.
27 June 2005
Contact: Amanda Kennedy
02 6277 7340