On 16 July 2009 the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced that the National Migrant Statistics Unit (NMSU) established in July 2006 would continue for a further three years. Each agency has agreed to contribute $1.3 million to continue funding the unit. The memorandum was signed by DIAC Secretary Andrew Metcalfe and the Australian Statistician Brian Pink.
"We cannot underestimate the role migration has played in Australia's history and in shaping the nation we have today," Mr Metcalfe said.
"Migration continues to play a vital role in terms of business, the workforce, education and society."
Mr Pink said reliable statistics were an important source of information on migrants, and their role in society.
"That information is essential for policy development, service delivery, research and program evaluation," he said.
The NMSU was established to provide reliable migrant and ethnicity-related statistics. These statistics can then be used to justify migration programs and migrant settlement.
The role of the NMSU includes:
- Maintaining a dialogue with stakeholders on emerging issues, data gaps and needs
- Developing statistical surveys related to migrants and ethnicity
- Providing statistical leadership and coordination in migrant and ethnicity statistics
- Developing statistical standards and analytical concepts
- Advancing migrant and ethnicity issues with the ABS
- Facilitating client requests for data on migrants and ethnicity.