2903.0.55.002 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/08/2006  First Issue
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July 24, 2006
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Census data helps your community: Collectors hit the streets

In just over two week’s time, on Tuesday 8 August 2006, more than 20.5 million people across Australia will be counted in the National Census. In South Australia, Census forms are about to be delivered to more than 670,000 households across the state by the Australian Bureau of Statistics army of Collectors.

While most people are aware that they need to fill in a Census form on Census night, many may not be aware of the ways in which Census data is used to benefit their local community.

Mike McGrath, Regional Director, Australian Bureau of Statistics, South Australia, said:

“The Census gives us a snapshot of what is happening in local communities around the country once every five years. This information is invaluable in helping us to understand our communities and the characteristics within particular areas.”

Mr Brian Hurn, Mayor of The Barossa Council, urges everyone in the local community to fill out their Census form.

"The Census provides the opportunity for everyone in the Barossa region to stand up and be counted. Census data provides the Council, as well as community organisations and businesses, with accurate and detailed data so that we are able to provide the services that our residents need.

“Census data is used in much of our strategic planning and community development work. This important data gives us information about the make up of our community, such as, how many people are living in our local area, the range of ages in our community and whether people need assistance in their day to day lives. Through this information we are able to build a better future for our local area by directing services and facilities and developing programs where they are needed.”

The Barossa Council used the 2001 Census data to develop a Social Profile. The Profile provided data for the development of Council’s most recent Strategic Plan. This information has aided in the development of facilities for the elderly, young people, and families, and for education, housing and health.

The Council is currently in the process of developing a new Social Plan to determine a set of objectives to plan a better future for the local area. This plan will rely heavily on Census and ABS data to work out details on things like housing and appropriate community services.

Census Collectors will begin delivering Census forms from 28 July. They will return to your household to collect forms from 9 August to 28 August.

It is important that everyone is counted in the Census. By completing a Census form on 8 August, you can help plan for a better Australia, and a better community.