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2903.0.55.002 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/08/2006  First Issue
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MEDIA RELEASE
July 25, 2006
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
SA31/2006
Census data helps your community: Collectors hit Mount Gambier
As one of the most important events in the Australian Bureau of Statistics calendar, Census night, draws closer, the South Australian Census team is bringing a message to Mount Gambier.

Peter Carmalt, South Australian Census Manager, along with local District Manager, local Area Supervisors and Collectors are holding a Census Community BBQ to let local residents know about the importance of filling out their Census form.

Peter Carmalt, South Australian Census Manager, said:

“Two week’s from today, on Tuesday 8 August 2006, more than 20.5 million people across Australia will be counted in the National Census. In South Australia, Census Collectors will hit the streets this week (28 July) delivering forms to more than 670,000 households across the state.

“While most people are aware that they need to fill in a Census form on Census night, many may not be aware of the ways in which Census data is used to benefit their local community.

“The Census gives us a snapshot of what is happening in local communities around the country once every five years. This information is invaluable in helping us to understand our communities and the characteristics within particular areas.”

Mr Greg Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Mount Gambier City Council, urges everyone in the local community to fill out their Census form:

"The Census provides the opportunity for everyone in the Mount Gambier area to stand up and be counted. Census data provides the Council, as well as community organisations and businesses in the community, with accurate and detailed data so that we are able to provide the services that you, our residents, need.

Census data is used in much of our strategic planning and community development work. This important data gives us information about the make-up of our community, such as, how many people are living in the Mount Gambier local area, the range of ages in our community and whether people need assistance in their day to day lives. Through this information we are able to build a better future for our local area by directing services and facilities and developing programs where they are needed.”

Over the last few years in the Border Watch local area, the Mount Gambier City Council has used Census data in various ways, one notably to support the submission for a new Public Library.

The Council employed a consultancy group to undertake a public consultation on the development of the new library. The consultation document was developed using ABS and Census data on population growth, age and the ethnic make up of the community. The position, size and contents of the proposed new library relied heavily on ABS and Census data.

The Council aims to update the public library to better reflect the needs of the changing community. The proposal document is now available to the public for their comments.

Census Collectors will begin delivering Census forms from 28 July. They will return to your household to collect forms from 9 August to 28 August.

It is important that everyone is counted in the Census. By completing a Census form on 8 August, you can help plan for a better Australia, and a better community.


CENSUS BBQ

Who: Peter Carmalt, South Australian Census Manager
              Area Supervisors and Collectors
What: South Australian Awareness Event for the Census

When: 12noon, Tuesday 25 July

Where: Coles Supermarket (outside), James Street,
          Mount Gambier

Why: To raise awareness about the Census and how Census data benefits the local community

Media will also have an opportunity to take stock footage or photos of Census Manager Peter Carmalt, Census Area Supervisors and Collectors and local residents.

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