Malcolm Turnbull’s Government is threatening cuts to the collection of some of Australia’s most important statistics, with statistics on housing finance, retail sales, early childhood, foreign ownership and crime victimisation in the firing line.
Australian Bureau of Statistics Head Statistician David Kalisch today revealed “the ABS does not have the resources to undertake all the activities that fall within our legislative mandate that our users would like”.
The Bureau specifically names retail sales, international trade and housing finance statistics as being at risk of cancellation. It also notes that ‘Tier 3’ statistics “may not be affordable in the future”. Tier 3 statistics include:
- Regional economic data
- New motor vehicle sales
- Foreign ownership of agricultural businesses
- Crime victim statistics
- Childhood education and care survey
- Patient experience survey
- Survey of tourist accommodation
- Internet activity survey
Given its ham-fisted approach to housing affordability, Medicare and the NBN, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the Turnbull Government now thinks Australians can’t handle the truth about these areas.
These potential cuts come at a time when the Government has not revealed the cost blowouts of its bungled Census.
Turnbull talks about an information age, but his government is following in the footsteps of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who wished for a nation where we ‘could live in peace and tranquility and no one would know anything’.
THURSDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2016