VEXNEWS rarely republishes â€“ or even reads â€“ government media releases but Laborâ€™s rising star and Assistant Treasurer Bill Shortenâ€™s one this afternoon was amusing given the constant media refrain that he is a numbers-man.
He seems to be quite capable of counting heads but clearly has many other skills including finding time to thank the flamboyant cardigans of the racy Australian Bureau of Statistics on the occasion of this first World Statistics Day:
The Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, today welcomed the first World Statistics Day, which is being celebrated in over 100 countries on 20/10/2010.
"Statistics are vital for the Australian and State Governments to make informed policy decisions. In this country, the Australian Bureau of Statistics collects information about issues of importance ranging from annual car sales to how people identify their religion," Minister Shorten said.
"Without statistics we could only use unreliable anecdotal evidence to make decisions that affect the lives of millions of our citizens."
"Without statistics we wouldn’t know how many students there are in this country, which would make education policies and funding decisions very difficult."
"Without statistics we wouldn’t know the incidence of heart disease, diabetes or other chronic illnesses, making accurate health funding well-nigh impossible."
"I also note, on this day that we celebrate the importance of statistics, that the Australian Government will again collect information on every Australian through the national census next year, one of the most important statistical projects this country undertakes."
"Statistics cut across party lines and ideology. They are the numbers and data analysis that allows us to produce and deliver public policies that make Australia a better place to live and work." (VEXNEWS: Like rolling Kevin Rudd, bless)
"I congratulate the hard working officers of the Australian Bureau of Statistics and publicly recognise the importance of what they do on World Statistics Day," Minister Shorten said.