CENSUS 2016: Questions you may have about Census

TONIGHT on August 9 2016, millions of households will take part in the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census and for the first time most will be doing it online. 

We've all got a few questions about the important date. 

WHY DO I HAVE TO DO THIS?

The Census is compulsory. Everyone in Australia on Census night must complete the Census. The information is collected under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

Most Australians are more than happy to give their support for the Census for the benefit of their community. Generally, the need to enforce penalties for non-completion is rare (see fines below). 

WHAT IF I'M AWAY ON CENSUS NIGHT?

Everyone who is in Australia on Census night needs to participate in the Census, no matter where you are. Whether you are an international visitor, travelling to remote areas, simply travelling interstate or staying away from home due to a natural disaster or other reason, arrangements have been made for you to complete the Census.

If you are staying with family or friends on Census night, make sure you are included on their form.

WHAT IF I'M OVERSEAS?

If you are not in Australia on Census night, you are not required to complete the Census. If you're overseas on Census night, the information collected on overseas departure cards from Australia's ports and airports to add Australian residents back in is used - you will still be counted.

WHAT IF I'M ON SHIFT WORK ON CENSUS NIGHT?

If you're working on Census night and return home the next day, you should include the details of your usual dwelling on your Census form and you should complete your form as soon as possible.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DON'T FILL IT OUT?

The ABS makes it clear that It is illegal not to complete the Census and the fines for failing to do so are pretty expensive. It will cost you $180 per day for each day that you don't return the form if you chose to do the paper method and $1800 if you provide misleading information.  

WHAT IF I HAVE NO USUAL ADDRESS AT THE MOMENT OR STAYING SOMEWHERE TEMPORARILY?

There are special procedures the ABS has developed to help people who are homeless. 

If this is you, you will be counted by Field Officers who are employed where there are known concentrations of people sleeping rough. Field Officers will complete a special Census form by interviewing and recording peoples' responses.

If you are experiencing homelessness on Census night and have not received a Census form, contact the Census Inquiry Service. If you are unable to contact the Census Inquiry Service please visit your nearest homeless service provider.

WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL THIS PERSONAL INFORMATION?

The ABS says the information you give is not shared with any other government departments or agencies. Your privacy will be protected. 


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