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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Garth from NSW commented:

I have not received a census form or any information on it yet at least now I have a number I can call 

Steven from NSW commented:

There needs to be a clean out of the ABS starting at the very top, the clowns that sprung this on the population as it has been havent got a brain between them...the way it is being rolled out will mean it is totally inaccurate in its analysis, the data system wont cope if it drops out at any point it wont be completed and because the digit will be recorded first it will be deemed as completed by all. And as to ringing up for a form there are many people without a phone link so no computer.. 

max from SA commented:

what you need to know. I have clicked on this point with no luck typical government stuff up so where from here. max thompson 2 thompson road paringa 5340 

Gertraud from ACT commented:

I have serious concerns over the security of the information collected, no matter how many times a representative from the ABS claims that the on-line data is secure. Sure! Nobody has ever hacked into high security networks! Apart from this, I am not happy that the personal details such as name and address will be kept with the census data - and they expect us to be honest with the information we provide? The other issue I have is the fact that the information we provide to the ABS for free and under threat of being fined if we refuse, is not just collated and used to direct government services to where they are needed, but that this information is also sold to businesses! 

Susan from NSW replied to Gertraud:

Totally agree with your concerns - why do they need our name and other personal information if they don't intend to use it against us in some way some time down the track? Big Brother is watching! 

Anonymous from NSW commented:

We live in a shared house, one family upstairs and my family downstairs, same address. Just found out people upstairs have the code and didn't tell us . They intend to fill out the census but not for us. What do we do? There is a privacy issue as neither family wants to disclose details to the other. Can two families log on separately with the same number? I'm assuming not as teh number belongs to the house. 

Marion from QLD commented:

You can call the 1300 number and request a seperate code or order a paper form. Don't worry if it doesn't get to you by Tuesday as you have a few weeks to fill it in. 

Anonymous from NSW replied to Marion:

Thank you for your reply Marion. These forums are so informative. The census website is not. 

Christine from QLD commented:

The usual mess accompanied by threats. I am overseas, so don't have to fill it in. I have emailed the ABS to tell them as I do not trust them one bit. I fully expect to receive a rude letter from them - which I won't actually see as I'm overseas for some time. The old way was simple. If you were in on the day, you filled in the form. If you were away i.e. overseas, you didn't. So much for technology making life easier! 

Karren from NSW commented:

When overseas how do you complete the census without the pin? 

Anonymous from VIC commented:

I got the census household form dropped in my mailbox but I was meant to have a return envelope with it. As it was not there and I have looked over the form and there is no address to return it so do they come back and get it like they did the last time. 

Anonymous from NSW commented:

How much is the fine out of curiosity 

Anonymous from NSW commented:

We received our PIN but the post gave us the next door neighbours not ours. unfortunately I didn't realise until I opened it. Rand the 1300214531 line and received an assurance that a new PIN would be delivered to us. By the way we have until 24/09/16 to complete the census without being fined! 

Gertraud from ACT commented:

How do you know that you have received your neighbour's PIN? My census form was addressed to "The Resident". 

Anonymous from NSW replied to Gertraud:

I opened the letter without checking the address. Each login number is for one address only. This one had to be destroyed and a new one given. So I assume my neighbour will have to ring and get a new one too. Because it was opened I guess it contravened privacy laws. 

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