Sunday, 19 November 2017

Descendants of Dinosaurs

A few photos that I think are good to look at!

The Frogmouth chicks are getting close to leaving the nest.  Judging by the amount of noise coming from our dam, they will have been getting plenty of food delivered to them.

 Obviously the chicks are very aware of their surroundings, giving me the eye as I photograph them.

I'm not sure if this Gippsland Water Dragon was looking at me or not as I photographed from the car parked on our Creek crossing.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Weird weather

Yesterday afternoon we got quite a bit of rain..  It totaled to 15mm (both weather station and plastic rain gauge).  When it started about 15:00 the BoM radar showed us as having our very own little storm cell.
 By 16:40 there were massive thunderstorms all the way up the ranges (the + symbols are liughtning strikes).
 The Creek had flooded and our drive was getting hammered as the key drain had been blocked temporarily by some works, and I am not in shape to dig them out.
 Anyway that all happened.  While we scored 15mm a couple of neighbours (perhaps 2km SE) whose places overlook the Plain both reported 40mm and another 6km North scored 5mm).

Moving on to Saturday 18th and the radars were not clear on what we were likely to get.  Would the rain head straight South or keep to the west?

 By about 11;00 it seemed likely it was going to bracket us.

By noon we had 0.8mm!

Friday, 17 November 2017

How d'ya get there?

As well as details of whether people work or not the Census collects details of where people work and how they travel to work.  This is mainly used by planners etc in the big cities to work out public transport schedules and some aspects of road planning.

Before getting to the local results I was always interested in the relationship between size of a City and use of cars for the commute.
The actual data available from the ABS is amazingly detailed with some 230 combinations of modes available.  There are of course some 'special'modes such as ferries in Sydney (0.36% of commutes) and trams in Melbourne (2.71%) and Adelaide (0.53%).

There are no ferries on the Molonglo and trams , trains and even buses are few on Captains Flat Road.  So the commute in this area is dominated by the car.
I assume that most of those who walked to work were folk employed on properties, as would be some of those who worked at home.  (In view of the rural nature of the area I'm a little disappointed that there isn't an entry for "tractor" or "horse"!)

The Census data also includes information about where people travel to work.  As the information is mainly used by planners with access to heavy-duty computing systems the variable concerned is only available at quite a detailed level which generated a table with 687 entries including 134 regions - mainly suburbs - in the ACT and 553 special regions for NSW.  Only 44 of these were work destinations for people in the Gazette area.  I recoded them to ad-hoc areas as shown in the following chart.
I've shown these as red X's on a map, with the size of the X roughly equivalent to the number of travellers.
The entry for the Queanbeyan zone covers several detailed entries.

I have been unable to find a definition of the 'Queanbeyan Region' but assume the major components of the area include:
  • People who work at home;
  • Workplaces in Bungendore;
  • HQJOC (although very few people in this destination are employed in the Public Administration and Security Industry)
  • Work on rural properties in the QPRC area.
There is a separate entry in the table for Braidwood but no-one from the Gazette area confessed to working there!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

High level work

This is the first part of my examination of 2016 Census data on employment for the catchment area of the Stoney Creek Gazette (which to save typing I will call the Gazette area).  There are quite a few posts on this blog already on the Census, so look at the tag Census in the list to the right.

Participation in the Labour force

The broadest topic about work covered in the Census is whether someone is in the Labour Force or not.  This question is, by international convention, limited to people aged 15 years or more: those under that age comprise the 'not applicable' category.  'Not stated' is largely self-explanatory although it could be noted it includes situations where person details were imputed due to a form not being received for an apparently occupied house.  The people in the Labour Force are subdivided into 5 categories and those respondents aged 15+ who aren't in one of those are Not in the Labour Force.
 The Gazette area had a higher proportion of people in full-time work (35 hours or more per week) than Australia but a lower proportion of part time workers.  Overall, 51% of people in the Gazette area were employed compared to 46% for Australia as a whole.  There were lower proportions of people looking for work (ie unemployed): 1.7% for the Gazette area vs 3.4% for Australia) and Not In the Labour Force.

The main item covered in the media is the proportion of people in the Labour Force in each of the components thereof.
With the lower total number of people in scope to the chart the length of the bars in this chart are longer.  97% of the Gazette area Labour Force are employed compared with 93% for Australia.

Labour Force x Sex

A very basic extension is to look at the topic classified  by sex.

The Gazette area has a slightly higher rate of employment for males than females. That also applies, with a higher differential, for Australia.  The biggest difference between the Gazette area and Australia is the proportion of in-scope females who are not in the Labour Force in Australia.  Our females are workers!

I was also struck by the contrasts with respect to Part Time Work between:
  1. the Gazette area and Australia; and
  2. males and females
This is summarised in the following chart which shows part time as a proportion of the total (part time + full time + away from work) for each of the 4 categories.
For both males and females Part Time work is far less a factor in the Gazette area than for Australia as a whole.  At both levels of geography females are far more involved in Part Time work than males.  The most surprising feature was that for Australia as a whole more than 50% of the women looking for work wanted a part-time job.  Presumably child care responsibilities were/are a major driver of this.

Labour Force and Income

Without wishing to get too philosophical a major reason for working is receiving a pay packet (OK, a pay electronic transfer there days).  An aside: when I started work the packet contained cash money!

Hopefully this chart shows the relationship between Income and Labour Force status for the Gazette area.
The number of employed people in each income category (I have only shown the upper limit of each income class) rises quite steadily to the $k104 - $k156 category.  While I was initially surprised at the high number of people in that class it is where one might expect to find Executive Level staff from the public service.  Many of the people in the income group work in the public service, and given the age profile of people in the area it is quite reasonable to find them at that level.

There are very few unemployed people in the area and most of them are in the lower income classes.  A small number are in the highest brackets, which could easily be explained by people who "took a package" in 2016 but are still keen to keep working.

I was intrigued by the relatively high incomes of quite a few people Not In the Labour Force (NILF).  While the Census doesn't collect information on source of income I thought age might explain this distribution.  To get something that can easily be shown I collapsed the income data to 4 classes (roughly speaking they could be thought of as Low Income, Modest Income, Comfortable Income and Well-off) and cross classified it by 10 year age groups for NILF people.
The category with less than $26k personal income is bimodal, comprising two groups:
  • a group of mainly young people with zero income; and
  • a group peaking in their 7th decade possibly welfare/pension recipients.
The groups with $27k to $91k are mainly distributed in the 50 to 80 age groups and most likely comprise people who have retired with superannuation entitlements.  The highest income group (>$91k ) are 50-70 years of age and I suspect are those with generous superannuation entitlements and/or recipients of packages from the public service (but who are not looking for work).  

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Where do Carwoola people come from?

The ABS released the final bunch of 2016 Census data to Table Builder last Friday.  This included the data items that require more effort to code including Industry; Occupation; Educational Qualifications and Usual Residence 1 and 5 years ago.

I thought I would start off my analysis of these data for Carwoola (by which I mean the catchment area of the Stoney Creek Gazette not just the State Suburb) with the topics dealing with Internal Migration.  At the simplest level these data address the question of whether a person was residing at the same address in 2016 as they were in 2015 or 2011.

It is important to note that this is all based on place of usual residence.  Thus as myself and Frances completed our Census form at Rockhampton where we were on Census night, but gave our usual address as Carwoola we are not shown as movers.

I have tried to compare 4 series in one graph - possibly a bad idea.  The categories are the 5 options which ABS provides.  For each category the top two bars relate to 2016 vs 2011 and the lower two bars to 2016 vs 2015.  The middle two bars are the Carwoola values and the outer two for Australia.  The "not applicable" category is people who weren't born at the previous time (<1 2011="" 2015="" for="" old="" p="" year="" years="">
I'll outline my findings after the chart.

  • As would be expected more people have moved over the 5 year span than the one year.
  • For both spans Carwoola has a higher proportion of people at the same address than Australia.
  • Carwoola also has a higher "Not stated" category than Australia.  Since a proportion - possibly quite high - of non-responses will be because people didn't think the question relevant due to them not moving this would accentuate the previous point.
  • The proportion of international movers is very low for Carwoola.
The next approach is to look, at a broad level, where people were located 1 and 5 years ago.
Given the previous finding it is no surprise that the vast majority of Carwoola Residents were located in NSW in both the preceding periods.  That proportion dominates the chart to make most other entries unreadable so the next chart excludes NSW and two administrative categories.
This chart emphasises the movement from the ACT (at the risk of letting a hobby horse out of the stable, it shows the rubbish of the boundary between NSW and the ACT).  It is a little surprising that no-one has moved from SA to the Carwoola area in 5 years.

This set of data is in the final release since coding the past addresses to LGA takes considerable resources.  Looking at this finer level of detail shows that:
  • Those who moved from elsewhere in Australia to Carwoola in the year prior to the census came from 7 local Government areas.  (This slightly conflicts with the State level information due to the confidentiality process concealing the LGA for the nmovers from WA.)  Since, for all the donor LGAs other than the ACT, the number of people moving is 3 -5 I expect that these represent the movement of a single household.
  • Movers over a 5 year period were located in 24 LGAs other than ACT (which 'donated' 178 people over the 5 years).  
    • Interestingly this excludes 5 of the 7 LGAs identified as donors in the one year movement.  This would seem to be explained by a mixture of the impact of the confidentiality rules and people from Carwoola being here in 2011, residing elsewhere in 2015 and returning in 2016. 
    • The LGAs providing more than a (probable) single household over the 5 year period were Snowy Monaro Regional (13 people); Upper Lachlan (11); and Goulburn Mulwaree (10).

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Mainly flowers up our drive

The main expedition covered by this post was a walk up our drive as a reaction to Frances spotting a Diuris sulphurea on her walk this morning.  I didn't find any of them (nor indeed D. pardina which also flowers on the block) but there were a few other pretties.

It is a bit unfortunate to start off with one I can't recognise, but there were an awful lot of this species - and its quite pretty.
 Stylidium armeria (trigger plants) were also in large numbers.
This is definitely a Lomandra sp - my guess is L. filiformis.
 It's unusual to see them flowering in profusion. so I assume this is some sort of reaction to their being little competition due to the fire and the relative warmth plus some rain has done the job.

One of the masses: Xerochrysum viscosum.
This had a bonus insect.  The patterned wings indicate a fruit fly, family Tephritidae.
 This is definitely a Goodenia and the usual species for that is G. hederacea.
 Vittadinia muelleri, with flowers and a seedhead.
Before heading up the block I had noticed this fungus growing in the vegie garden.   In the past I have found this growing in a pile of old mulch: I suspect that it is growing on the remains of an old wooden post.  The name is Phallus indusiatus.
 The sticky brown slime does a good job of attracting flies - there are at least three, of different species in this image - which distribute the spores.
 And back above the lawn the Tawny Frogmouth chicks are growing well.  Note the length of the primary feathers displayed by the RH chick.

 The snaps above were digiscoped from my study.  Getting out on the lawn I was able to get the RH chick and Dad pretending to be broken off branches.
Early in the evening a Fallow deer came to visit!  She bounced away up the bald hill paddock.

Frog listening

On 10 November the Australian Museum launched a FrogID app for iPhones.  This is described as being like Shazam for Frogs.  The big picture idea is that you record a frog call and the app identifies it for you.  I have long asked for something like that for birds but it seems to be too hard (mainly because the potential developers seem to insist on getting everything in there at once rather than doing the first few thousand calls and building up).

Whatever: I downloaded the FrogID app yesterday and tried it last evening on our lawn.  There was the usual ruckus coming from our nearest dam, which probably made the test a bit hard.  The process was pretty easy:

  • hit the 'record button' and let it run for at least 20 seconds;
  • I then hit another button (can't remember what) and a list of 12 possible matches was presented;
  • each possible has a box to check if you are sure and a sound sample to play for confirmation;
  • the samples are excellent as you can listen to them and pick out the matches from the audible calls (there is also a sonogram which assists in the process);
  • Submitting the list of 5 matched species was a bit of a mess as I hadn't registered beforehand - I suggest folk do that;
  • the list and recording will be assessed by a frogologist at the Museum.
Watch this blog for updates.