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

Dominic Giannini 18 August 2021 46
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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46 Responses to Census fines incoming for one-fifth of Canberrans yet to return the survey
Prue Edgerton Prue Edgerton 10:12 am 20 Aug 21

Raen Jorja Tori thank goodness not us

Denise Bridges Denise Bridges 8:55 am 20 Aug 21

Chel Bridges Ciarda Bridges Kerry Ann you can click onto the link and still do it..

Futureproof Futureproof 4:55 am 20 Aug 21

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.

Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 12:35 am 20 Aug 21

How many people can't go out in lockdown to post them ?

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:12 am 20 Aug 21

    Aldith GravesYou obviously have internet, so you can do it on line. I did. It was very quick and easy.

    Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 6:20 pm 20 Aug 21

    Mine was done before the actual night

Jody Maree Harrison Jody Maree Harrison 10:17 pm 19 Aug 21

I didn’t even get a form . Didn’t even know about it

Gosh darn it if Covid isn’t going to get you a fine census is going to 🤦🏾‍♀️

    Matt Ridgewell Matt Ridgewell 11:37 pm 19 Aug 21

    Jody Maree Harrison online silly

    Jody Maree Harrison Jody Maree Harrison 5:05 am 20 Aug 21

    Matt Ridgewell

    No shizz Sherlock

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:17 am 20 Aug 21

    Jody Maree Harrison I didn't get a form either, so I did it online. The census was well advertised, so where have you been not to hear of it?

Kristan Wright Kristan Wright 9:09 pm 19 Aug 21

Lee Allen did you do yours?

jwinston jwinston 3:11 pm 19 Aug 21

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

Trish Casey Trish Casey 11:52 am 19 Aug 21

No as I can’t get out to post it back

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 12:13 pm 19 Aug 21

    Trish Casey you could re do it online

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 3:02 pm 19 Aug 21

    Trish Casey It can be done online, as many others have done, and you being here you obviously have the online facilities. So really, no excuse.

Mandy Moo Mandy Moo 11:43 am 19 Aug 21

What a joke that they think that in a lockdown they can have field staff can come and visit people in their homes for the bloody census! This isn’t essential!!

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 12:04 pm 19 Aug 21

    Mandy Moo census date was on the 10th of August and someone dropped off the form to my house a few weeks before that to lockdown has nothing to do with it

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 12:05 pm 19 Aug 21

    Mandy Moo it is quite essential for them to see where to allocate funding and trends in ACT

    Mandy Moo Mandy Moo 12:06 pm 19 Aug 21

    Mandy Truman the article states that they will send out reminder letters and have field staff come out. My comment is in regards to the fact they can’t have field staff come out to people’s home while we are in a lockdown. It isn’t essential!

    Mandy Moo Mandy Moo 12:08 pm 19 Aug 21

    Mandy Truman right so it’s essential they have field staff come to peoples homes whilst in lockdown and in the midst of an outbreak. Are you for real!! Until lockdown is over and restrictions ease all they can do is send letters and if they can try making contact via phone or email.

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 12:12 pm 19 Aug 21

    "where it is safe to do so under local COVID-19 restrictions.”

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 12:13 pm 19 Aug 21

    There are still food delivery drivers, uber eats drivers ect but a person can't come and drop a reminder in someone's letter box?

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 1:10 pm 19 Aug 21

    Mandy Moo I do agree they should hold off on issuing fines per day until after the 2nd sept

    Paul Berger Paul Berger 1:21 pm 19 Aug 21

    Mandy Truman why the census was on the 10th, the lockdown didn't start till after it was due.

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 1:30 pm 19 Aug 21

    Paul Berger census and lock down have nothing to do with each other. Census happens every 5 years and the date was announced as the 10th of august a long time ago.

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 1:31 pm 19 Aug 21

    People can still drop it at the post office during essential shopping or re complete it online. It's really not that hard.

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 1:32 pm 19 Aug 21

    But the information on the form needs to be from who was in the household on the 10th of August

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 1:33 pm 19 Aug 21

    Paul Berger exactly. Which is why if people did it on the night it was due or dropped it at the post office the days after there wouldn't be an issue

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 3:04 pm 19 Aug 21

    Mandy Moo They actually said, "and field staff will start following up where it is safe to do so under local COVID-19 restrictions"

    "where it is safe to do so under local COVID-19 restrictions"

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 3:04 pm 19 Aug 21

    Julie Macklin I already said that

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 3:09 pm 19 Aug 21

    Mandy Truman No, you wrote, "What a joke that they think that in a lockdown they can have field staff can come and visit people in their homes for the bloody census! This isn’t essential!!"

    You left out the "where it is safe to do so under local COVID-19 restrictions", which makes the difference in the sense of what was said.

    Mark Aisbett Mark Aisbett 3:20 pm 19 Aug 21

    Julie Macklin not true 🙂 I believe you quoted the wrong Mandy :)

    Mandy Truman Mandy Truman 3:26 pm 19 Aug 21

    I didn't say that

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 5:35 pm 19 Aug 21

    Mandy Truman Sorry, as Mark says there are two Mandys. Yes, you didn't say that.

    Michelle Bettanin Michelle Bettanin 11:55 am 22 Aug 21

    If you just fill out the bloody form online there won’t be any need for a field officer to come out 🤦‍♀️

    Michelle Bettanin Michelle Bettanin 11:57 am 22 Aug 21

    Paul Berger the 10th is the date the data needs to relate to. You can still complete the census now you just need to complete it with information accurate as on the 10th august.

    Michelle Bettanin Michelle Bettanin 11:58 am 22 Aug 21

    Mandy Truman I got a reminder letter as I’d forgotten. Completed it online in about 10 mins. The online option is great. So easy.

Shell Bell Shell Bell 10:55 am 19 Aug 21

Not the most important thing on my mind atm 😞

    Mark Oz Mark Oz 8:27 am 20 Aug 21

    Shell Bell Well given you are, or should be, spending most of your time at home, what’s stopping you from completing it?

    Shell Bell Shell Bell 9:10 pm 20 Aug 21

    Where did I say I hadn't completed it?

Alison Pallister Alison Pallister 10:35 am 19 Aug 21

I did ours, but I can't recall seeing any advertising about it, so if you missed getting a reference number in your letterbox, you may have no idea about it.

Shane Jasprizza Shane Jasprizza 10:06 am 19 Aug 21

They are still down the coast.

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