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

  • 2022-23 Review of the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG) - Consultation Round 2

    In 2022, the ABS began a major review of the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG) and the associated Religious Affiliation Standard (RAS; How we ask the religion question in the Census of Population and Housing ). The review will update the ASCRG to reflect the modern...

    Closes 28 November 2023

  • 2023 Review of Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL)

    In 2023, the ABS will undertake a major review of the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL). The review will update the ASCL to better reflect languages that are widely used in the Australian community. Updates to the ASCL will ensure collection and production of high quality data,...

    Closes 8 December 2023

  • Administrative data snapshot of population and housing (ADS) feedback

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is seeking feedback from users to understand the value and potential of the Administrative data snapshot of population and housing release (ADS) . This includes potential use of administrative data in future Censuses. The ADS is a new...

    Closes 15 December 2023

  • 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 - Phase two

    The ABS is undertaking a review of topics for the 2026 Census. Public consultation helps inform our recommendation to the Australian Government on the topics that could be included in the Census. Phase two of the consultation is open from 27 July until 8 September 2023. The ABS is seeking...

    Closed 8 September 2023

  • ANZSCO comprehensive review - consultation round 2

    The ABS continues its comprehensive review of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) to reflect the contemporary labour market and better meet stakeholders’ needs. Help shape the future of ANZSCO to meet your information needs ...

    Closed 11 August 2023

  • 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

We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We asked

From 1 February to 28 April 2023, the ABS opened public consultation seeking views on what changes should be made to selected occupations to inform the comprehensive review of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

This first round of consultation was an opportunity for users of the classification to provide feedback on occupations that fell within the following focus areas:

Accounting services Administrative services
Aged care and disability services Childcare services
Computer system design and related services Education and training
Financial and insurance services Library and other information services
Management and related consulting services Market research and advertising services
Scientific research services Statistical services
Welfare and social assistance services  

Organisations and individuals were invited to make submissions about the accuracy of current occupation skill levels and descriptions and any occupations anticipated to emerge in the next 5 to 10 years.

You said

The ABS received over 190 submissions, including valuable feedback from all levels of government, businesses, industry bodies/associations, academics, and individuals.

To inform the classification changes, collaborative workshops were organised for various occupation focus areas.  These workshops attracted a wide range of stakeholders eager to participate and contribute their expertise, ultimately enhancing the quality of occupation information within their respective fields.

Feedback received recommended improvements to occupation descriptions and classification structures. It also highlighted the evolution of certain occupations and the emergence of diverse fields and unique jobs that stakeholders would like to see included in the classification. An important topic that resonated with stakeholders was the evolving skill level requirements for different occupations and how these requirements have changed over time.

We did

To keep stakeholders informed of how their input is influencing changes to the classification we have published our preliminary view of proposed change from Consultation round one. These are presented in the Publish Results section below for 12 of the 13 occupation focus areas. Release of proposed changes from Computer system design and related services occupations has been deferred to the end of the second round of consultation.

These changes reflect the collaborative efforts and insights provided by stakeholders, ensuring that the classification remains relevant and responsive to user requirements and accurately represents the evolving landscape of the Australian labour market.

A final consultation round in mid-2024 will allow users an opportunity to provide feedback on the complete set of proposed changes, before finalising the classification update for release by December 2024. This critical phase will also present proposed alterations to the classification structure that may involve reorganising or consolidating existing occupation groups, creating new groups for emerging occupations, or adapting the structure to better reflect the relationships between occupations.

Next Steps

Consultation round two of the ANZSCO comprehensive review is currently underway with consultation closing Friday 11 August 2023.  Learn more about the occupations that will be reviewed this round, how to participate and tips for preparing your submission.  

Keep up to date with all the latest developments on the review at Updating ANZSCO.

We asked

From 28 February to 28 April 2023, the ABS opened public consultation seeking views on what changes should be made to the 2026 Census topics.

Organisations and individuals
were invited to make submissions about information needs not currently collected by the ABS and to provide evidence of:

  • The topic being of current national importance.
  • A need for data at the national level, and either the local level or for small population groups.
  • A likely continuing need for data on the topic following the Census.

You said

The ABS received 260 submissions. The submissions were received via the ABS Consultation Hub, email, mail, and meetings (where explicitly requested by the stakeholder for minutes to be included as a submission). 

The ABS also considered more than 500 other pieces of feedback as part of the consultation, including recent ABS standards and classification reviews, recommendations from parliamentary inquiries, letters to the Australian Statistician, Members of Parliament and other correspondence received by the ABS since June 2018, and 2021 Census submissions for six shortlisted topics.

Submissions and feedback were received from all levels of government, businesses, community groups, advocacy groups, industry bodies/associations, academics and individuals.

We did

  • During phase one of the consultation, the ABS identified strong public value for the inclusion of 12 new topics and to make changes to 16 existing topics.
  • Four existing topics have been identified for potential removal from the 2026 Census.
  • The ABS has published a shortlist of the topics being considered for the 2026 Census. The publication provides a summary of the feedback received during the first phase of consultation. It outlines new topics being considered for inclusion, existing topics where change is being considered and topics being considered for removal. The publication 2026 Census topic review: Phase one directions is available on the ABS website.

Where to from here?

Phase two of the 2026 Census Topic consultation is open from Thursday 27 July until Friday 8 September. This is the time to let us know if there will be impacts for you or your organisation if we changed or removed one of the shortlisted topics.

The ABS will further assess the shortlisted topics for feasibility and to determine if the Census is the most appropriate way to provide data on the topic. This will inform the decision on which topics proceed to testing.

In late 2023, the ABS will share the outcomes of phase two, including the topics recommended for removal and topics that have proceeded to testing.

In 2024, the ABS will make a recommendation to the Australian Government on the topics to be included on the 2026 Census. The final list of topics to be included in the Census will be published by the ABS in late 2025.

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.