Does the Australian Regional Census need to assess other datasets?


Australia’s Regional Open Data Census assesses 11 datasets which were based on inputs from:

  • Global Open Data Index
  • G8 and G20 list of key open datasets
  • Discussions with Australia’s Federal, State and Territory Governments.

The census is limited to 15 datasets. Previously datasets for the environment and education performance have been suggested. A discussion on what datasets should be included in the Global Open Data Index included a great (but late) suggestion from @earl_butterworth.

What extra datasets, if any, should be included in Australia’s Regional Open Data Census and what process should be followed to consult and decide?


Here’s how new datasets were decided on for the 2015 Global Open Data Index.

Should Australia follow in these footsteps?


Generally I’d say yes.

Open Data is a global solution to what reaches all the way into local problems. I guess the consideration here is whether the suggested datasets have relevance for the level of Government which is reporting. In Australia, where we have three levels of Government within a federation of States and Territories, the delegation of responsibility might differ between what the census defines as regional versus local and/or city.

So long as whatever tier of jurisdiction is able to nominate a dataset that is perhaps managed a different tier of Government then the important thing becomes those datasets which are specific to the tier of jurisdiction being surveyed.

I think the open data index should always be about setting a higher bar such that jurisdictions have a competitive incentive to release more data each year.


The new datasets are:

  1. Government procurement data (past and present tenders)
  2. Water quality
  3. Weather forecast
  4. Land ownership
  5. Health performance data

Read the formal definitions.

I think all are applicable to Australian States and Territories except Weather (although States do provide data to the National Bureau of Meteorology e.g. River Gauge readings).

In fact in Australia’s Regional Census we already have:

Land Ownership (i.e. cadastres) should be an easy add.

I’m not sure about Water Quality. Is this managed and reported on by all States or have this been privatised in some States?