2903.0.55.002 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/08/2006  First Issue
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August 22, 2006
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Census collection - on track and to finish soon

The collection of Census forms is drawing to a close. "Eighty percent of Census forms have been collected, but Collectors will continue to be in the field until Monday 28 August," the Head of Census Paul Williams said today.

Thank you, Australia

"Overall the 2006 Census has gone very well. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) would like to thank the people of Australia for their cooperation. We are also very grateful for the hard work of our Census Collectors who have been to every corner of Australia. However any operation that involves 20.5 million people and 30,000 field staff will face some difficulties. Early on, there was some trouble getting forms to people and the ABS would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding during this period".

"We do miss the occasional dwelling. However, people who were in Australia on 8 August and did not receive a Census form can still let us know by ringing 1300 362 883 or sending us an email (census.forms@abs.gov.au) with their residential address."

eCensus is a success

"Nearly 800,000 dwellings have submitted their form by the Internet, using the eCensus option," Mr Williams said. "With approximately 2 million people counted on an eCensus form, from their homes or even from the hotels they stayed in on Census night, this take up is showing that the Internet will feature more strongly for future Censuses."

Overall the feedback has been very good. The ABS will be looking at the feedback as part of preparations for the 2011 Census. The Census Inquiry Service also performed well and handled almost half-a-million phone inquiries over the last four weeks.

ABS taking action to ensure everyone takes part in the Census

"While the overwhelming majority of Australians have supported the Census, a small number of people have declared that they will not fill in a Census form," Mr Williams said. Up to Monday afternoon, 112 Notices of Direction (NOD) have been issued by the ABS. (NSW 22, Vic 26, Qld 19, SA 28, WA 2, Tas, 7, NT 0, ACT 8). "A Notice of Direction is the first step in a process that could lead to prosecution, but fortunately when people receive this, many will comply with the NOD realising the importance of ensuring everyone is counted for their community. Accurate and comprehensive information is important to building the picture of Australia."