ABS Consultation Hub

Welcome to the ABS Consultation Hub where you can find and participate in our public consultations.

The hub provides information on new ABS projects and makes sharing your ideas and giving feedback easy. We will use the hub to keep you informed, listen to and acknowledge your concerns and aspirations, and provide feedback on how public input influenced our decisions.

Recently added consultations are displayed below. Alternatively, search for consultations by keyword, postcode, interest etc.

Open Consultations

  • Australian Industry publication consultation

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is consulting with users of the Australian Industry publication to understand how the outputs are used. Australian Industry is released annually, within 11 months of the end of the financial year reference period. Australian Industry contains annual...

    Closes 31 May 2024

Closed Consultations

  • 2026 Census topic consultation

    The ABS is undertaking a review of topics for the 2026 Census. Public consultation is undertaken to help inform our recommendation to the Australian Government on the topics that could be included in the Census. Phase one of the consultation is open from 28 February to 28 April 2023....

    Closed 28 April 2023

  • ANZSCO comprehensive review - consultation round 1

    The ABS is undertaking a comprehensive review of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) to reflect the contemporary labour market and better meet stakeholders’ needs. ANZSCO describes all occupations in the Australian and New...

    Closed 28 April 2023

  • 2021 Census data second release seminar series

    Thank you for attending one of our 2021 Census data seminars. The feedback you provide in this short survey (10 minutes) will help inform future events. If you were unable to attend, recordings of the data seminars are available on the ABS website and Youtube channel .

    Closed 16 December 2022

  • Measurement of Digital Platform Work and Workers

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), like most national statistical organisations, is working to expand its statistics on relatively new and emerging forms of employment, including digital platform workers. While digital platform workers and their work have always been...

    Closed 30 November 2022

  • Help Shape the Future of Classification on Industries in Australia

    ABS will undertake a consultation process from late-Sept to late-Nov 2022 seeking feedback on how Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) is currently used, key concerns with the ANZSIC as well as identifying issues with implementing a new industry classification....

    Closed 25 November 2022

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We asked

The ABS commenced public consultation on 14 October 2022 on the measurement of Digital Platform Work and Workers.

The public consultation ran for around 6 weeks and sought feedback on:

  1. The conceptual framework – the conceptual understanding of digital platform work as applied to the Australian context; and
  2. The measurement approach – the proposed survey topics to be incorporated in the digital platform work experimental survey module for 2023/24

You said

This public consultation generated a small number of submissions from a variety of stakeholders, including government, business, and the public. This was in line with expectations, given this is a new measurement space where there aren’t many longstanding experts. We specifically sought feedback on the measurement approach the ABS was taking and the conceptual framework that had been developed. The feedback received is summarised below.

The Conceptual framework:
There was strong support for the framework the ABS developed, to better communicate and understand digital platform workers and work. The distinction the ABS made between labour services and other forms of digital platform work was considered appropriate, along with distinguishing between different types of tasks (e.g. personal transport and food delivery).

The Measurement Approach:
There was broad support for the current experimental measurement approach the ABS is using. The submissions noted that the priority information is being captured and also identified a range of additional data items that could be collected to broaden and enhance the data collected for the 2023/24 survey cycle.

The feedback provided has been summarised below:

  • Reference period - expand the timeframe beyond the last four weeks, to ensure people who undertake digital platform work infrequently are included.
  • Task type – include further specificity in task types (e.g. type of caring tasks).
  • Industry – present an industry distribution of digital platform work.
  • Digital platform hours worked – a variety of options were suggested for collecting information on digital platform work hours worked and whether more paid hours were preferred by workers.
  • Reason for undertaking digital platform work – ability to select more than one reason.
  • Working conditions and security - level of control or influence the respondent has over digital platform work arrangements.
  • Platform use – Whether multiple platforms are used and how this is managed by the worker.
  • Safety and risk – perception of safety at work, understanding of work health and safety obligations, measures available to reduce risk.
  • Earnings - allowing respondents to report earnings in smaller increments (e.g. less than 10% of earnings, etc).
  • Other data sources - exploration of other mechanisms for collecting data, such as administrative data.

We did

The ABS is grateful for the submissions received through this consultation process and has taken these into consideration in determining the content for inclusion in the next stage of the experimental digital platform work survey module, for the 2023/24 financial year. As the module is part of a broader survey program, new content needs to be balanced with other competing priorities within the program and the need to ensure a reasonable experience for survey respondents.

The following changes will be incorporated into the digital platform work survey module, which will be progressively collected from July 2023:

Reference period/frequency

  • the reference period has been expanded to include; any digital platform work tasks undertaken in the past 12 months, detailed questions are asked about work undertaken in the previous 4 weeks, and whether tasks have been undertaken within the Labour Force Survey Reference Week; and
  • frequency that DPW tasks are undertaken (e.g. weekly, monthly etc) is requested to understand how regularly digital platform work is undertaken.

DPW task type

  • further questions added to determine more task information, including-the type of delivery work undertaken (e.g. food, grocery or parcels) and the type of caring tasks performed (e.g. disability care, aged care, childcare etc).

Working conditions/hours

  • whether the respondent has a preference for more hours of digital platform work; and
  • how work is allocated and how hours and price are set.

Work safety

  • whether a workplace accident has occurred undertaking digital platform work
  • perception of safety at work; and
  • whether covered for personal accident insurance in case of a work-related accident.

The ABS will continue to inform the evolutionary approach to measuring digital platform work and workers. Any additional feedback is welcome at measuring.employment.consultation@abs.gov.au.

We asked

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) commenced public consultation on 29 August 2022. The consultation requested feedback on the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG) and the Religious Affiliation Standard (RAS), the way the religion question is asked in the Census of Population and Housing.

The aim of the review is to update the ASCRG to reflect the modern Australian community; and ensure the RAS is inclusive. These updates will ensure collection and production of high quality data, improving data analysis and decision making. The public consultation was to confirm the scope of the review and invite feedback to identify any other high priority considerations for the review.

Public consultation ran for 12 weeks, 29 August 2022 till 18 November 2022. The ABS sought feedback on the preliminary scope of the review (below) and requested other issues also be identified.

2022 Review of ASCRG and RAS, preliminary scope:

  1. Investigation of the RAS – question wording and pick list
    a. Can the response options be changed to be more inclusive?

    b. Consistency between the question wording (refers to a person’s religion) and the pick list options (a combination of religions and Christian denominations).
  2. Investigation into Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism; and whether it is possible to identify additional religious groups.
  3. Investigation into how Christian Orthodox groups appear in the ASCRG and the RAS.
  4. Investigation into a possible restructure of the classification codes.
  5. Investigation into the structure of Broad Group 7, Secular Beliefs and Other Spiritual Beliefs and No Religious Affiliation. Should secular beliefs continue to be included in a classification of religious groups?

For more detailed information on the scope, please refer to 2022 ASCRG and RAS Review Scope v1.0, attached below.

You said

This public consultation generated 193 submissions from a range of individuals and organisations.

Most of the items in the preliminary scope were broadly supported for inclusion in the review. The topics in the preliminary scope that attracted the most submissions were the pick list (content and order of the list) and question wording (scope items 1a and 1b).

In addition to the issues outlined in the scope, a number of other concerns were raised, including:

  • Concerns around data quality, due to the limited number of options in the pick list.
  • Concerns about potential bias in the question wording because it assumes a person is affiliated with a religion.
  • The importance of including the concepts underpinning the classification (e.g. ‘affiliation’) in the review.
  • Some confusion regarding the 2021 census advertising campaign, as it related to religion.

Other suggestions included:

  • Recommendations for groups to be added to the pick list in the question, or the classification (ASCRG) itself.
  • Suggestions for how religion data could be better presented in the future.

We did

The ABS is currently reviewing these submissions and working closely with stakeholders to draft changes to the RAS and ASCRG. The proposed changes to ASCRG and supporting information will be presented via the ABS Consultation Hub in mid-2023. Stakeholders can again provide feedback before the final update is published in December 2023.

Any changes for the RAS, that come from this review, will require further testing. Testing will be undertaken during the 2026 Census design process in the lead up to the 2026 Census. However, proposed RAS changes will be available for comment in mid-2023 through the planned ASCRG public consultation but the final outcome will be published after 2026 Census testing is completed.

Submissions that included relevant feedback for 2026 Census Content development and design will be provided to the 2026 Census Content team, stakeholders do not need to provide their submission again.

Future consultation

The next round of public consultation on the proposed changes to the ASCRG and RAS is expected to be conducted in mid-2023. However if you would like to provide feedback before then, please contact the ABS at standards@abs.gov.au

2026 Census Content consultation is planned for the first half of 2023.  If your submission to this scope of the ASCRG and RAS review is relevant to the Census Content consultation too, it will be provided to the 2026 Census Content team - stakeholders do not need to provide their submission again.

Further information is also available in the FAQ and Scope documents under the heading Related below.

Any questions?

Please email standards@abs.gov.au with any questions on this consultation or for further information.

We asked

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) commenced public consultation on September 1 2022 on proposed changes to ANZSCO as a targeted update.

Public consultation ran for four weeks, seeking feedback on:

  • Construction-Related Trades Occupations
  • Emerging Occupations identified by the (previous) National Skills Commission that were unable to be included in the ANZSCO 2021, Australian Update.

The 24 construction related trades occupations were developed in consultation with the (previous) Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), based on the following criteria:

  • occupations in ANZSCO Major Group 3 Technicians and Trades Workers at skill level 3
  • occupations with significant Australian Apprenticeships commencements
  • occupations traditionally associated with an apprenticeship pathway, that were not included in the 2021 update
  • the number of persons employed in the occupation in the 2016 Census of Population and Housing are significant.

Also included were a small number of occupations that were engineering-related rather than construction, but which also satisfied the above criteria.

For the remaining Emerging Occupations, these included Data analyst, Data scientist, Data engineer, Data architect, Logistics analyst, Fundraiser, Hazardous materials labourer, Patient liaison, Regulatory affairs specialist and Risk analyst.

You said

This public consultation generated 23 submissions from a wide range of stakeholder groups and sectors of the user community.

Construction-Related Trades Occupations

Continuing the review work that commenced in 2021, the ABS sought feedback on the proposed changes to be made to 24 Construction-Related Trades Occupations identified for review in 2022.

The ABS received one submission relating to the changes proposed suggesting additional changes.

Emerging Occupations

The ABS received 12 submissions during public consultation from a variety of organisations. Targeted consultation was undertaken with several stakeholders to discuss their submission in greater detail.  

Feedback on the proposed changes indicated strong support for the creation of new occupations in ANZSCO. Several submissions contained requests for minor changes to lead statements.

Ten submissions were received for occupations out of scope of this consultation round, however these will be considered as part of the upcoming Comprehensive Review of ANZSCO.

We did

2022 Targeted Update

The feedback from stakeholders has been considered and incorporated into the updated descriptions for the 32 in-scope occupations targeted for review in 2022. The resulting ANZSCO 2022, Australian Update was released on the ABS website on 22 November 2022, along with a complete list of classification changes made for this update.

Construction-Related Trades Occupations

Two new occupations were added – Fire protection plumber, and Furniture maker.

Concerns were raised about the potential overlap between Formworker and Concreter and whether these are two distinct occupations. Consequently, these occupations will be further reviewed during the Comprehensive Review to identify the most suitable placement within the classification. Similarly, Shopfitter was not seen as a natural fit with carpenters and joiners due to the difference in materials with which they predominantly work and will be further considered during the Comprehensive Review.

Emerging Occupations

Based on feedback received through public consultation and stakeholder engagement, the ABS implemented changes to the lead statements for Data analyst, Data scientist and Regulatory affairs manager.

As a result of this review, the ABS created four new occupations for Data analyst, Data scientist, Supply chain analyst (Logistics analyst included as an alternative title) and Regulatory affairs manager. Proposed changes to Hazardous materials labourer and Fundraiser will be implemented during the Comprehensive Review as they require changes to the structure of ANZSCO.

The following occupations will be reviewed during the Comprehensive Review of ANZSCO – Data engineer, Data architect, Risk analyst and Patient liaison.

Future ANZSCO updates

Submissions related to occupations that fell outside the scope of the 2022 targeted update were not reviewed this round. These submissions, along with recommendations held over, will be considered as part of the forthcoming Comprehensive Review of ANZSCO. The Comprehensive Review is due for completion by December 2024.

Further details on how to participate in the Comprehensive Review were published 7 November 2022 on the ABS website.

If you would like more information, please email updating.anzsco@abs.gov.au