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

  • 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...

    Closed 15 December 2023

  • Design of a complete monthly Consumer Price Index – Public Consultation

    1. Overview The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is undertaking a public consultation process to design the complete monthly measure of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is an opportunity for you to inform us of your data, timing and publication needs and help shape the design...

    Closed 15 December 2023

  • Census data feedback survey

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is seeking feedback from data users to understand how they use and access Census data. Census data can be viewed and accessed in a number of ways using a variety of tools. Each method has unique key features, formats and provide varying levels of detail.

    Closed 11 December 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,...

    Closed 8 December 2023

  • ANZSCO comprehensive review - consultation round 3

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) continues its comprehensive review of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) with a third round of public consultation . This is an opportunity for you to make a significant impact by providing feedback on selected...

    Closed 5 December 2023

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 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release a complete monthly measure of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) by late 2025, as part of its transformative program called Big Data, Timely Insights: Phase 2 (BDTI).

Stakeholders were invited to provide input on key aspects of the CPI publication design during a public consultation held from 16 November to 15 December 2023.  The public consultation sought formal submissions on this proposed design covering key areas such as release timing, data requirements, publication specifics, and methodologies.

The public consultation was informed by a preliminary Discovery Stage in October 2023, where the ABS engaged directly with a selection of stakeholders to gain insights into their priorities and to lay the groundwork for the initial CPI design.

You said

Feedback on the design of the complete monthly CPI aligned closely with stakeholder insights gathered during the initial Discovery Stage. The primary requests voiced by stakeholders included:

  • Prioritise accuracy and data coverage of the complete monthly CPI over improved timeliness of the publication’s release after the end of the reference period, with backing for the ABS’s proposal that the CPI publication continue to be released around four-weeks after the reference period.
  • Support for maintaining the same level of detailed commentary and analysis as published in the quarterly CPI with requests for further expansion of the CPI analytical series where feasible.
  • Monthly data content consistent with the current quarterly CPI data series incorporating capital city and expenditure class (EC) level data.
  • Continue a quarterly data series for continuity of timeseries analysis and legislated indexation requirements.

Further insights provided by stakeholders included:

  • Support for publishing data with more decimal places for increased precision.
  • Request for a monthly analytical series such as trimmed mean, weighted median, and goods and services categories.
  • Support for transparency regarding data collection frequency, coverage, and updates to the CPI Concepts, Sources, and Methods (CSM).

Feedback was also received that is beyond the scope of the BDTI transformation program. This feedback will be evaluated for potential integration in future, including considerations such as expanded product classifications for further international comparability, expanding the Selected Living Costs Index (SLCI) groups, and compiling Regional CPI data.

A complete summary of the public consultation feedback is provided in the Results section below.

We did

Stakeholder consultation has been pivotal in shaping the design of the complete monthly CPI. As a result, commencing late 2025, the complete monthly CPI will:

  1. Be released around four weeks after the reference period on a Wednesday.
  2. Prioritise data accuracy by implementing comprehensive data collection throughout the entirety of the reference month, rather than restricting it to only the first two or three weeks.
  3. Contain the same amount of data, detailed commentary and analysis that is in the current quarterly CPI.
  4. Include a monthly seasonally adjusted series and analytical series such as trimmed mean, weighted median, and tradables and non-tradables series.

Initially, due to some of the monthly time series being shorter than the length required for standard seasonal adjustment, only a limited number of seasonally adjusted series will be published in the first two years. The ABS is exploring the quality of trimmed mean and weighted median measures when some expenditure classes cannot be seasonally adjusted with standard methods. We will publish further information on these methods prior to publication.

The existing quarterly series will be maintained, including analytical measures, to ensure continuity for widely used indexation arrangements and time series analysis.  

Additionally, the intended design will also include:

  • All groups (headline) CPI, Groups (11), Sub-groups (33), and Expenditure classes (87) for each capital city.
  • Contribution to annual and monthly percentage change to the All groups CPI.
  • Index numbers published to two decimal places instead of the existing one decimal place. Movements will be presented to one decimal place. 
  • No revisions unless there is an exceptional circumstance, such as to correct a significant error, in line with the standard practice for CPI. 

The design of the complete monthly CPI is provided in the Results section below.

Next Steps
Stakeholders will receive ongoing updates from the ABS on the progress of the complete monthly measure of the CPI, methodology, and refined design details.

An implementation plan, along with a mock-up showcasing the complete monthly CPI comprising time series tables and metadata, will be unveiled closer to the publication date. Throughout this period, the ABS will maintain the quarterly release of the Consumer Price Index, Australia  and the Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator

We asked

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) commenced a second round of public consultation on the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG) on 18 September 2023. The first round of public consultation, held in late 2022, sought feedback on the scope of the review. This consultation provided an opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed changes to the classification.

The aim of the review is to update the ASCRG to reflect the current Australian community. These updates will ensure production of high-quality data, improving data analysis and informing decision making.  Submissions from this second round of public consultation will inform the changes made to the ASCRG in preparation for the 2026 Census.

This round of public consultation ran for 11 weeks and submissions were sought regarding any inaccuracies in the classification; any unintended impacts of the proposed changes, as well as any key implementation issues for users.

You said

A small number of submissions were received; these were from individuals and organisations.

Submissions received suggested:

  • Consistency in the ordering of groups.
  • Changes to the ASCRG that had not been investigated in the current review.

The ABS did not receive any submissions raising concerns about the proposed changes to the ASCRG.

We did

The ABS is currently reviewing these submissions and finalising changes to the ASCRG. The updated version of the classification, which implements the findings from the 2022-23 review, will be published on the ABS website on 26 March, 2024.

The ABS thanks those who have taken the time to provide feedback during the two phases of consultation. Any feedback that has been provided, but not investigated in the current review, will be considered in the next review of ASCRG.

Changes to the Religious Affiliation Standard (RAS) continue to be considered through the 2026 Census topic review. The outcomes of Phase two are available here. Once the review of RAS has been finalised, the outcome will be published on the ABS website.

Future consultation

This is the final round of public consultation on the proposed changes to the ASCRG. However, if you would like to provide feedback on the ASCRG at any time, please contact the ABS using the email address below.

Any questions?

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

We asked

From 27 July to 8 September 2023, the ABS undertook phase two of the 2026 Census topic consultation. This consultation invited feedback on proposed changes to Census topics.

During this consultation, the ABS specifically sought feedback on topics where further information was required to help inform our assessment and recommendation. These topics included:

  • Ancestry and Ethnic identity
  • Labour Force status
  • Main language other than English used at home
  • Number of children ever born
  • Number of employees (employed by owner managers)
  • Number of motor vehicles
  • Religious affiliation
  • Status in employment
  • Unpaid work – domestic activities

You said

The ABS received 213 submissions in this consultation. The submissions were received via the ABS Consultation Hub and email from all levels of government, businesses, community groups, advocacy groups, industry bodies/associations, academics and individuals. Twelve submissions received during the consultation window had multiple individuals and/or organisations contributing to the submission.

Of the topics the ABS specifically sought feedback on, the most common topic included in submissions was Religious affiliation, followed by Ancestry and Ethnic identity. While the ABS advised that feedback was not required for other shortlisted topics, there was an option in the Consultation Hub to provide feedback if desired. The most common topics included in submissions where feedback was not specifically requested were Gender, Sex, Sexual orientation, Variations of sex characteristics, and Attendance at an educational institution.   

Some submissions suggested content that was out of scope of the phase two consultation. This included topics that were requested in the first phase of public consultation but were not shortlisted, new topics not previously requested, and submissions that were related to other ABS data collections or Census collection procedures. These submissions have been referred to the relevant areas of the ABS for further consideration where relevant.  

We did

  • During phase two of the consultation, the ABS assessed 32 topics for addition, change or removal.
  • 17 topics, including 5 new topics and 12 existing topics, have progressed to the development and testing stage.
  • Three topics are still under consideration for removal.
  • One topic will be recommended to move back to a ten-year collection cycle and be collected again in the 2031 Census.

The ABS has published outcomes from the public consultation. The publication 2026 Census topic review: Phase two directions is available on the ABS website.

Where to from here?

The ABS will continue to refine the shortlist of potential content changes during the development and testing stage, prior to making a recommendation to Government in mid-2024.

The ABS will publish the final list of topics on the ABS website in late 2025.