The Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC, the Council) is the ABS’ key advisory body and was established under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975. In line with its legislated functions, ASAC represents government and community interests by providing independent advice to the Minister responsible for the ABS and to the Australian Statistician on the improvement of Australia’s current statistical services and longer-term statistical priorities. The Council also reports annually to Parliament.
The Chairperson of the Council is Professor Gary Banks AO, Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. ASAC members are drawn from a broad cross-section, including the Australian Government, state and territory governments, business and academia. The Council’s diversity helps shape the advice it provides on the ABS’ strategic management and transformation. ASAC also provides valuable input into the directions and priorities of the ABS work program. The representation of all states and territories on the Council is critical to achieving whole-of-government support for improvements to the statistical system.
As set out in the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975, the role of the Council is to advise the Minister and the Statistician in relation to:
a) the improvement, extension and coordination of statistical services provided for public purposes in Australia
b) annual and longer-term priorities and programs of work that should be adopted in relation to major aspects of the provision of those statistical services
c) any other matters relating generally to those statistical services.
The mission of the Council is to contribute to the effective development of Australia’s statistical assets, by providing the Minister and the Australian Statistician with independent, relevant and timely advice on national priorities.
Further information on ASAC, including its annual report, can be found at www.asac.gov.au.
Changes in Council membership
The past year saw a number of changes to the Council’s membership.
The Council welcomed the appointment of the following senior state/territory government representatives in the second half of 2018: Mr David Braines-Mead, Deputy Under Treasurer (Northern Territory); and Mr Alistair Jones, Executive Director (Economic Business Unit), Department of Treasury (Western Australia).
Community representation on the Council also increased in the first half of 2019, with the appointment of Mr Adam Boyton, Chief Economist (Business Council of Australia), and Ms Meghan Quinn PSM, Deputy Secretary, Macroeconomic Group (The Treasury). In addition, two members of the Council accepted re-appointment: Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark, Professor of Economics (The University of Sydney), and Dr Luci Ellis, Assistant Governor (Reserve Bank of Australia).
Australian Statistics Advisory Council - March 2019