The success of a large and important collection such as the Census requires careful planning and development over a number of years. As part of the development process, the ABS consults widely within the community to ensure that topics to be included in the Census are relevant, can be collected accurately on a self enumeration form, and do not impose an undue response burden.
The content of the 2006 Census questionnaire has already been finalised. However, preliminary work is about to commence on development of the 2011 Census.
To initiate public consultation regarding the nature and content of the Census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases an information paper that describes the proposed procedures and topics that may be included. For the 2006 Census cycle, the Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing, ABS Views on Content and Procedures, 2006 (cat. no. 2007.0) was released in July 2003.
For the 2011 Census it is expected that the ABS will again seek public input well beforehand, possibly in late 2007 or into 2008. This invitation, including information on how to lodge a submission, will be widely advertised in the media and on the ABS web site.