2903.0.55.002 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/07/2006  First Issue
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July 25, 2006
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Census Collectors take to the high seas

Wherever you are in Australia on Census night- 8 August 2006 - you count.

Census collectors are set to take to the high seas on the NSW South Coast, joining forces with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to ensure those staying on Montague Island are counted come Census night.

Montague Island is around 80 hectares in size and 8 kilometres offshore from the township of Narooma on the NSW South Coast.

Hundreds of seals make their home on the island. It's also a breeding ground for 15 bird species — including about 8000 pairs of little penguins.

Residents are far outnumbered by the wildlife!

With just a handful of people stationed on the island at one time, made up of National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff and visitors, the count on Montague Island is small in comparison to the Census count taking place on the mainland but equally important.

On board the NPWS vessel this week, which regularly ferries staff and supplies to the island, Census collector Peter Robson and Area Supervisor Paulette Harris will head out to discuss how the Census will be conducted in Montague Island.

Over the coming week Census collectors will return to the island with Census forms and again return to collect the completed forms following Census night on Tuesday August 8.

NSW Census Director, Sue Phillips, has applauded the cooperation shown between the two agencies to ensure an accurate count on the South Coast.

“In preparation for the 2006 Census we have been working closely with local organisations and staff from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service have been hugely helpful in managing the logistics of getting a Census form to everyone – no matter where they are,” she said.

“Through their assistance in providing information about the Census to those staying in National Parks on Census night as well as volunteering transport for our collector out to Montague Island- we are extremely grateful.

"The Eurobodalla local government area is one of the fastest growing regions in NSW. The 2006 Census will provide a comprehensive update on the make-up of the population so that local organisations can plan the services that are required.

“The cooperation shown to date is a great sign for the Census count in NSW,” Ms Phillips said.