Bogus Census Collectors, Aug 2001

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August 08, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Bogus Census Collectors

    C/45 8 AUGUST, 2001

    In response to a small number of media reports about so-called "bogus" census collectors the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has issued the following information about its census collection operation.

    What are Census Collectors doing?

    In the coming two weeks Census Collectors across Australia will be visiting every dwelling including houses, flats, apartments, hotels, hospitals, mines, boarding houses and more to collect completed census forms.

    Collectors have until 27 August to collect the completed census forms. They are required to pick up a completed census form from a householder in person and if a householder is not at home they will leave a calling card giving an estimate of when they will return.

    When will collectors visit households?

    Collectors have been instructed to undertake collection activities from 8:30am till 9pm. Collection activities will not normally be occurring outside this time period.

    What are the rights of householders?

    Collectors accessing households are legally entitled to go to the front door of a dwelling to deliver and collect Census forms. They are instructed not to go through or over any locked barrier or security gate, or enter any dwelling without being invited to do so.

    All collectors have been screened and have signed an undertaking of fidelity and secrecy under the relevant legislation.

    How will Census Collectors be identified?

    All collectors are required to wear official identification cards at all times while undertaking census duties. All collectors will be carrying a bright yellow satchel.

    If people have yet to advise the ABS of the need for additional census forms or the fact that they have yet to receive a form they should phone the Census Inquiry Service. This service is in operation to provide help and information - phone 137 219. A telephone interpreter service is also available by dialling 137 206. There is also a Telephone Typewriter facility to assist people with hearing impairments - phone 137 201. A public information website is also available at

    Visit & media for more information and media resources.