Census in Antarctica - story for weekend media, Aug 2001

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Census in Antarctica - story for weekend media


The story:

The Census next Tuesday Night, 7 August, counts everyone in Australia, including those working at Australian Antarctic bases.

The ABS's Tasmania Office in Hobart is the staging-post from where, every five years at census time, officers from the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) of Environment Australia take on the roles of ABS field workers, delivering and collecting census forms.

The ABS and the AAD met last November to plan the census delivery operations for Antarctica, which must be undertaken early because the resupply voyages can be made only during the warmer months.

A parcel for each base was put together containing census materials and a set of duty instructions and delivered to the Antarctic Division headquarters.

The parcels for Casey and Mawson left Hobart on 31 December 2000. The parcel for Davis left on 6 January 2001, and then for Macquarie Island on 14 March 2001.

On census night, Station Leaders conduct the Census at their base. They then repack the completed workloads and ship them back to Hobart at the earliest opportunity.

Interview opportunities with Antarctic staff:

Paul Cullen at Casey and Mark Tell at Davis have both said they are happy to talk to the media about how the Census is being organised down there.

If media from particular locations want to interview someone from their areas, the contacts will see if they have anyone on base who comes from the right area.

In those cases, it's probably easiest if you phone Paul or Mark as necessary to see who they might have who is suitable. Their phone numbers are:

Paul Cullen: 0011 672 12 802
Mark Tell: 0011 672 10 613

The bases are about three hours behind EST, so it is best for Eastern States media to phone them in the afternoon.

The pictures:

Great photos in high resolution jpeg format will be available from www.image.aap.com.au from noon EST Friday.

The photos depict the Antarctic workers in full snow gear with iced beards etc, filling out census forms with great polar vistas as background. One is of a chef with penguins and a census form.

Media Inquiries

Visit www.abs.gov.au/census/media for more information and media resources or email censusmedia@abs.gov.au.