Census Collectors hit the streets of Cobar

29 July 2011 | NSW/48

15 Census Collectors will hit the streets and roads of Cobar today to deliver Census forms to every home, farm and hotel and ensure everyone in the region is accurately counted on Census night, Tuesday, 9 August.

Leading the Census count in her home town of Cobar is Area Supervisor Debbie Bourke and heavy rainfall over the recent months has allowed Debbie’s 19-year-old son to see grass for the first time in living memory.

“It’s very exciting for the boys, cattle and sheep on the property, but not so conducive to getting around as a 2011 Census Area Supervisor.

“It will be hard. Roads have been washed out and some areas will be inaccessible but that’s part of the Census challenge," Debbie says.

Last year, Debbie purchased the 18,567 hectare sheep and cattle station, Mt Gap, which she managed for twenty two years. Her nearest neighbour is 20kms away, par for the course in that part of NSW.

“One of the challenges facing Census Collectors in this region is that there are many properties with nobody living on them and these places are not exactly next door to each other, many are twenty miles apart.”

This year’s Census will be the second time people can complete the Census online and it’s expected 30 per cent of households will choose this method.

“In 2006 the eCensus wasn’t used that much out here and Collectors would spend the whole day travelling to deliver and pick-up forms without seeing a soul.

"Hopefully this year the eCensus will be more popular and Collectors won’t have to run the risk of returning to empty homesteads to collect the forms," Debbie adds.

More information is available online at www.abs.gov.au/census or by calling the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 338 776