WILL THE MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CENSUS
PLEASE STAND UP?
With just six days left until the Census, it is time that the responsible minister stands up.
The Government must explain the changes it has made to increase the period for which names and addresses are retained, and whether it has provided adequate resources to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
This is now a first order issue for the Turnbull Government. Since 1911, the integrity of the Census has never been so threatened as it is now. Any flaws in the delivery or response to the Census will be the Turnbull Government’s responsibility.
Labor accepts that there may be legitimate reasons for the changes, but it is the job of the Government to make that case. The ABS is busy enough handling the public’s inquiries, without having to do the job of absent Government ministers.
Some media reports suggest that Michael McCormack might be responsible for the Census. If so, it is astonishing that he has not spoken out about this major change which affects all Australians.
Regardless of how frustrated people are with the Turnbull Government, Labor urges Australians not to spoil the Census.
Census results are used to allocate resources across communities, and their accuracy is at the heart of good research and policymaking to alleviate disadvantage. The Turnbull Government’s failings should not mar our largest national information-gathering exercise.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has advised of the following details for Australians needing extra assistance to complete this year’s Census:
If you wish to request a paper Census form, please call 1300 820 275. You will require the 12 digit Census Login number that will have been mailed to you.
Paper Census forms can also be requested online at https://www.census.abs.gov.au/eCensusWeb/help_form.jsp. You will require the 12 digit Census Login number that will have been mailed to you, and an email address.
If you wish to contact the ABS and speak to someone directly, you can call 1300 214 531 between 8AM and 8PM, 7 days a week. If possible, calling outside of business hours will reduce the prospect of waiting times on the phone.
If you do not receive a paper Census form by Tuesday 9 August, don’t be concerned. You can complete the paper form with reference to the night of August 9 and post it back in those circumstances.
WEDNESDAY, 3 AUGUST 2016
MEDIA CONTACTS: TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS 0437 320 393