JUST BECAUSE THE TURNBULL GOVERNMENT HAS MESSED UP,
DON’T SPOIL THE CENSUS
The Turnbull Government has botched explaining changes to the upcoming Census, leading to significant community confusion and concern.
But Labor urges all Australians to complete their Census forms accurately so that the Government’s failings do not mar our largest national information-gathering exercise.
The Turnbull Government has extended from 18 months to four years the length of time that names and addresses collected in the 2016 Census will be retained by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Extraordinarily, there seems to be some confusion within the Government about which Minister is responsible for the Census. Treasurer Scott Morrison and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer have left the task of explaining this change solely to the Australian Bureau of Statistics – which is already busy enough without having to do their jobs as well.
It is time Mr Morrison or Ms O'Dwyer clearly explained why these changes have been made, and provide the Australian community with the privacy assurances many are seeking.
Labor takes seriously any allegation that the strict privacy provisions in the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 and the Census and Statistics Act 1905 are not being adhered to.
But however frustrated Australians are at the failure of the Turnbull Government to explain and justify these changes, we urge people not to spoil their Census forms or provide inaccurate information.
With 24 million people to be counted, the 2016 Census will be the largest in Australian history. Its results are vital in informing public policy and allocating resources across communities.
Failing to accurately answer the Census can mean that Government resources do not go where they are needed most.
MONDAY, 1 AUGUST 2016
MEDIA CONTACTS: TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS 0437 320 393