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2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Jul 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2000   
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Retention of 2001 Census Forms

In past censuses, once the statistical processing had been completed, all name-identified information was destroyed.

For the 2001 Census however, the Federal Government has accepted the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

The report, Saving Our Census and Preserving Our History, states that saving name-identified census information ‘for future research, with appropriate safeguards, will make a valuable contribution to preserving Australia's history for future generations’. This is particularly true for the 2001 Census as it coincides with the Centenary of Federation.

It should be noted that information will only be kept for those persons who explicitly give their consent. This is to ensure that the current high levels of public confidence and cooperation in the census are maintained, and to respect the wishes of those who do not want their information retained for future release.

For privacy reasons and to encourage households to give their consent, name-identified information will not be available for any purpose, including by a court or tribunal within a 99 year closed access period. If a person does not explicitly agree to the retention of their name-identified census information, it will be destroyed once the statistical processing has been completed.


Type of Question to be asked in the 2001 Census Form

Does each person in this household agree to his/her name and address and other information on this form being kept by the National Archives of Australia and then made publicly available after 99 years?
* Answering this question is OPTIONAL
* A person’s name-identified information will not be kept where a person does not agree or the answer is left blank
* Refer to the Census Guide for more information.
    PLEASE CHECK WITH EACH PERSON BEFORE ANSWERING - LEAVE BLANK FOR THOSE PERSONS WHOSE VIEWS ARE NOT KNOWN TO YOU

    Person 1Person 2Person 3Person 4Person 5Person 6
    ( )Yes, agrees
    ( ) No, does not agree
    ( )Yes, agrees
    ( ) No, does not agree
    ( )Yes, agrees
    ( ) No, does not agree
    ( )Yes, agrees
    ( ) No, does not agree
    ( )Yes, agrees
    ( ) No, does not agree
    ( )Yes, agrees
    ( ) No, does not agree

    Once the statistical processing has been completed, the information for each person who has agreed to it being retained, will be transferred and stored on microfilm. Microfilm has been chosen as its archival storage properties are well known.

    Production of the microfilm will be undertaken at the ABS' Data Processing Centre in Sydney. After processing, the microfilm will be passed to the Australian Archives to store for 99 years after which time the information will be made publicly available.

    See also Media Release of 17/12/99 - Australians can choose to have census data released in 100 years

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