18 August 2021

Census fines incoming for one-fifth of Canberrans yet to return the survey

| Dominic Giannini
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Online Census form on laptop computer

The Census is now overdue, but it is not too late to fill in the survey. Photo: File.

The ACT may lead the nation with regards to the number of Census forms filled in, but one in five households in the Territory is yet to submit the survey, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed.

The Census is now overdue and people who have not completed the survey either online or by mailing the forms back by post could face fines of up to $220 a day.

But Census executive director Andrew Henderson said it is not too late to submit the forms.

“The Census is compulsory and we urge people to complete it now,” he said.

READ ALSO Australia’s first pandemic Census

“This week, overdue reminder letters will be sent to households that haven’t yet completed, and field staff will start following up where it is safe to do so under local COVID-19 restrictions.”

Australians are able to fill out the Census online if they do not have an instruction letter by selecting the ‘Get a Census number’ option online, or they can request a paper form online, or by calling 1800 512 441.

Ten million households are expected to complete the compulsory survey this year, but so far around 7.7 million have been returned – or 70 per cent of households.

Almost seven million of these were submitted online.

READ MORE ABS taking rigorous steps to ensure no repeat of cyber attack on Census night

The survey takes around 30 minutes to fill out, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Northern Territory is Australia’s most unpunctual jurisdiction, with only 56 per cent of forms returned, while the ACT tops the list at 79 per cent.

The next top jurisdiction is Victoria (73 per cent), followed by NSW and South Australia (both 69 per cent), Western Australia (67 per cent), Queensland (64 per cent) and Tasmania (60 per cent) as of 16 August, 2021.

More information is available at Census, or by calling 1800 512 441.

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Where I work, all people who lived in NSW received their letter with their census online completion details at least a week and a half beforehand. As of the Friday before census week, none of the people who reside in the ACT had theirs.

Mandy Moo – with all the whinging you’ve done on this subject you could’ve completed the Census and then some…

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