Taking stock before the national stocktake
By Census Night this year, 1800 tonnes of Census forms, guides and other printed materials will have been printed, packed and sent to all corners of the country – the equivalent weight of 1,000 family cars.
The culmination of this process will be the delivery of a Census guide and form to every dwelling in Australia.
Approximately 11 million Census guides will be printed and distributed.
“If the pages of all the guides were laid end to end, the trail would cover the entire Australian coastline – a distance of 25,801 kilometres,” said Andrew McGovern, Census Field Operations.
“The Census form is an even larger printing job, consisting of nearly 13 million forms of high grade paper. This paper was specially designed to be scanned by the ABS Data Processing Centre.”
The Ducor Group was awarded the contract to print the Census forms through a full public tender. 13 million forms have now been produced, and have passed the stringent quality assurance requirements of the scanners.
First Fleet Warehousing and Distribution was awarded the contract to pack, store and securely distribute Census materials to field staff. Packing of materials into specially designed cardboard packs started in August 2005, and is planned to finish in April this year.
“Each pack contains sufficient material for a Census collector to enumerate 100 dwellings. The packing for Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland has been completed and materials are now securely stored in each state’s despatch hub,” said Andrew.
The sheer logistics of this exercise mean planning has to start well ahead of Census Night.
"The Census is the largest peace time logistics exercise undertaken in Australia. It is challenging and pretty exciting at the same time,” said Andrew.