2903.0 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/07/2006   
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July 24, 2006
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
National launch puts spotlight on the Census

The national launch of the Census was held in Canberra today. Census night is 8 August and every effort is being made to make sure that everyone in Australia is aware of it.

Treasurer Peter Costello gave the keynote address which highlighted the vital role of the Census in national decision making.

The Australian Statistician Dennis Trewin also spoke. He said that the Census of Population and Housing, conducted every five years by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, was a resource for all Australians. "It is important to the accuracy of the Census that everyone completes the Census form," he said.

Television presenter Ernie Dingo, who features in TV, radio and print advertising for the Census, was a special guest. Also featured were ABS Collectors. Collectors will be the public face of the bureau as they deliver Census forms to every household in the nation. The Census employs a small army of 30,000 Collectors and supervisors Australia-wide. With their bright yellow bags, Collectors will become a familiar sight in the lead up to the Census of 8 August.

This Census, people who chose to do so can fill in a Census form online. This option is called the eCensus. As in the 2001 Census, there is also an option for people to have Census information preserved for 99 years in the National Archives of Australia. This option is called the Census Time Capsule. Last Census over 50 per cent of people chose to take part in it.

By getting the highest possible count on Census night, community planners will know how many people there are, where they are and what services they need - and be able to plan these services accordingly. Personal privacy is assured. Census information is used as statistics, not in ways that can identify any individual. No personal information is ever released outside the ABS and Census forms are destroyed once the statistics have been gathered. No other organisation, public or private, will have access to any personal information.