Harnessing the power of Australia’s data

Harnessing the power of Australia’s data

Public Data Data initiatives
Thursday, 05 April 2018

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Home Affairs

 

Harnessing the power of Australia’s data

International travellers leaving from Australian airports no longer have to scramble for a pen in order to fill out the green departure cards, or Outgoing Passenger Cards (OPCs), before heading overseas.

The little green OPCs have done a big job over the past 50 years, collecting important information that helped calculate official population estimates. The information was also crucial to determining the distribution of GST revenue and the number of seats in the House of Representatives for each state and territory.

However, in a country where 50 million overseas travellers are expected annually by the year 2020, the Department of Home Affairs working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) needed to find an automated alternative to manually collecting OPCs.

Working closely with other stakeholders (including the Australian Government Departments of Health and Human Services), the ABS and Home Affairs identified existing data sources and tested a paperless system. This allowed the ABS to maintain reliable and credible Australian, State and Territory population estimates while ensuring travellers have a seamless and automated border experience.

Feedback from travellers is that removing the OPCs has led to shorter queues and faster processing times. By making use of existing data, the ABS is continuing to produce statistics to inform Australia’s important decisions.

Full text description can be found below image

Alternative text version of infographic

Challenge: Outgoing Passenger Cards have long been an important source of data. But with 50 million travellers expected by 2020, the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Bureau of Statistics looked for a digital alternative.

Solution: The ABS and Home Affairs successfully identified and tested digital data sources. Using existing data, the ABS could continue to produce important information while ensuring a faster and more seamless passenger experience.

Results: Feedback has shown travellers are enjoying shorter queues and faster processing times. By making use of existing data the ABS is continuing to inform Australia’s important decisions.