Could the Minister responsible for the Census please take responsibility? - Media Release

COULD THE MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CENSUS PLEASE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY?

 With Australia’s five-yearly Census happening tomorrow, Minister Michael McCormack must do more to directly address community concerns about the Turnbull Government’s decision to increase the period for which names and addresses are retained.

The Coalition has let the situation deteriorate to such an embarrassing state that ABC Riverina, in Mr McCormack’s own electorate, invited an Associate Professor from the Charles Sturt University on air this morning to discuss the changes.

It seems that Mr McCormack is unable to explain the Census changes to his own constituents, let alone the nation.

The doctrine of ministerial accountability clearly requires that Ministers explain policy changes to the electorate. Mr McCormack should not be attempting to get public servants in the Australian Bureau of Statistics to do his job.

Mr McCormack isn’t the only one to blame. His predecessors Kelly O’Dwyer and Alex Hawke were likely aware that the Government intended to increase the retention period for names and addresses from 18 months to four years. And yet neither appears to have uttered a peep about them.

Regardless of how frustrated people are with the Coalition, Labor urges Australians to accurately fill out the Census. Census results help shape the allocation of funds, and their accuracy is at the heart of good research and policy. The Turnbull Government’s failings should not tarnish the 2016 Census.  

MONDAY, 8 AUGUST 2016

MEDIA CONTACTS:  TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS - 0437 320 393


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