CMUs reach consensus
With the 2006 Census now less than a year away the Census Management Unit (CMU) managers from all States and Territories attended a workshop 10 - 14 October in Queenscliffe Victoria.
The purpose of the workshop was to discuss planning for next year’s Census and outline specific strategies for dealing with some of the harder to enumerate areas as well as ethnic, Indigenous and homeless enumeration.
Of particular interest were issues like difficult to access premises, such as secure apartment buildings. These types of buildings are increasing in size and number, particularly in capital cities. Each CMU provided input to a broad discussion which looked at a range of strategies to deal with this issue.
Recruitment is another issue that generated healthy discussion at the workshop. In a very tight labour market it will be a challenge to find sufficient numbers of applicants who posses the right skills and qualities to fill the 30,000 field positions. The workshop also discussed and considered the benefits and impacts of the introduction of an Internet Census form and the newly developed PC based Field Management system.
The workshop also worked through a number of “what if” scenarios to explore contingency plans, mitigation strategies and disaster recovery plans where the Census operation was impacted by, for example, a natural disaster.
Australian Statistician Dennis Trewin joined the workshop for an evening and gave a keynote address where he spoke about the history and importance of the Census, some of the risks that faced the Census and then answered questions from the group.
Paul Williams the Census Program Head gave the closing address focussing on the success of the Australian Census model which is built on trust placed in our Field Staff.