NewsThe Census- What You Need To Know

The Census- What You Need To Know

Next week around nine million households will be asked by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to fill out Census forms.

Personal data from families will be kept for four years rather than the 18 months, which has raised fears about private data leaking.

The option to complete the census online will save the government around $100 million but there has been much talk in the media with many wanting assurances they won’t be fined for not completing the Census form.

The other problem is the amount of older Australians who prefer a paper copy of the census, not being able to contact the Australian Bureau of Statistics by phone.

Meanwhile crossbencher Nick Xenophon called for the census to be delayed because of data storage delays and also today reported an “overwhelming number of calls, complaints and online feedback of problems with Census 2016”.

Households should have received a letter addressed “To the Resident” with information and a unique login number enabling them to go online and complete their census. In some metro, rural and remote areas Census Field Officers will drop off forms.

A dedicated telephone service has been established to assist with inquiries on 1300 214 531. There’s also information on how to request a paper form if required by calling a dedicated 24-hour paper form request line on 1300 820 275. The ABS has made additional call centre resources available to deal with an increasing number of inquiries ahead of census night.

The online form is available now for early returns. To complete the Census online click here.


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The Census- What You Need To Know

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Jennifer from SA commented:

Census tomorrow (in 4 hrs actually). Ordered my paper copy over a week ago. Still no sign of it.. 

Anonymous from NSW commented:

My wife and I received our census paperwork in the mail about 2 weeks ago. Without having to do a thing.It gives us the option of sending the paperwork in or filling it in online. As we are in our 60s maybe age has something to do with whether or not you receive it by mail or not. 

Anonymous from QLD commented:

Roslyn from QLD We are away and have left our paperwork with our code at home. We are in Sydney on Census night. Do we get included in the census on Tuesday night or do we leave it till we get home, by which time we will be able to fill out the form on line with our code. What's to stop people doing both? 

Ian from NSW commented:

I have been overseas since 17 July and am not due back until 17th August. How do I participate or avoid being fined for not completing it? Fezo NSW 

Anonymous from NSW commented:

I actually support the new approach to the census. Having worked in the IT industry for many years. Observe, our Department of Defence systems have never been hacked. Yes, we can be fined if we don't complete the census. If we are 'difficult" how will they ever be able to plan for a) pension payments b)housing c)hospitals, d)education e)roads e)immigration f)refugee intake. Many other countries have the same system of gathering information. Apart from all of that, don't banks have your name, age, address, contact details. Honestly I can't understand the pettiness of some people's attitude to the census. I'd much prefer to do it online rather then have people knocking on my door. Even easier to take my time on filling in a form and posting it. We used to tell our kids to "grow up". perhaps some of the soothsayers should take that advice. Rae NSW 

Gail from NSW commented:

So much for your "fortune telling " about hackers. Go and do an MYOB course and quit your lecturing to the plebs. 

Anonymous from NSW commented:

Carrol NSW what a mess !! and so much confusion and forget trying to call cant peak to anyone just a machine?? just send us the bl... form with the option to go online and keep it anonymous 

Anonymous from NSW commented:

Carrol Sydney what a mess?? typical government trying to be in the 21st century with the online option but their capabilities back in the 19th century - most people I have spoken to either couldn`t get through or it took forever and they are still waiting for the form 1 week later just send households the bloody form with an online option for those who want it and keep it anonymous as in past ... 

Anonymous from NSW commented:

If there is to be a true census what has our name and address to do with it?. as above would n"t be better do go back to the past when no name or address was needed?, and people felt safer knowing that their names and address were private and not required, and the population recieved paper copies with attention given the those who lived in remote areas or nursing homes, etc, and also those that are homeless how are these people going to be counted when they have no phone or computer available???. 

Beverley from NSW commented:

so far a lot of people with PO boxes have received no information on the census so how do we get around that 

Beverley from NSW replied to Beverley:

what is the phone number I had one and they said when I rang to check the number as it was wrong 

suzanne from QLD commented:

Whilst listening to late night ABC radio in Cairns last Sunday I managed to get the most important line - Inquiry line number.( Forget about the other useless number that was only accessible from 8am-8pm.) So by being 'on task and alert' my problems were solved and hopefully the hard copy will arrive. My issue is WHY would the Censis line only give out the Enquiry line contact phone number ONCE? Phone numbers need to be spoken TWICE, as anyone in business knows! Also many of my elderly friends have no hope of ringing in to get a hard copy - what a ludicrous situation for the elderly who need hard copies and a bit of support, what appalling planning and lack of insight. However Good luck to everyone involved as it is a worthy scheme. 

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