Will You Be Completing This Year's Census?

Will you be completing the upcoming 2021 Census?

I'm keen to see the community's sentiment and trust in the Government/ABS. It says on the website that you could get fined if you don't complete it.

Poll Options

  • 1134
    Yes, I trust the Government/ABS
  • 433
    Yes, I don't want to get fined
  • 33
    Not this year
  • 23
    Never have


  • +17

    Where’s the option for if their website works? I understand it is gold standard…

    • +28

      Last time it was a huge fail. This time they allow you to submit all data earlier. I've done it a few days ago, no need to rush on the last day.

      • +4

        We completed ours a few days. Just get it done at least to avoid the fine.

        • -22

          Says compulsory* even though it's not.

          I kinda don't wanna waste my time on it.

          It took a few days!?

        • -4

          Weird, you'll get a fine for not doing the census, but break any rules around COVID-19 and… nothing.

          • +3

            @smartazz104: last time I looked the Australian Bureau of Statistics was an independent census authority

            with no obvious association with the Health Department or Police

            • @Hangryuman: I mean my point is, we are led to believe that people breaking curfew etc are putting lives at risk, but they aren't being fined for fear of them not assisting authorities. Anyway I'm getting off topic.

              • -12

                @smartazz104: Yeah, you are, into complete bullshit territory. Get back into your hole.

                People who do break curfew are (profanity) with the lives of others.

                • +2

                  @Velocita: Maybe with that lack of comprehension you should be the one to go back into your hole. Where did I say that I don’t agree that they shouldn’t be punished? I was pointing out that they aren’t being punished; if people who don’t fill out the census are being punished, curfew breakers need something harsher.

                  • -8

                    @smartazz104: “We are led to believe”
                    If you took the decent approach you’d word it without it being ambiguous.
                    “People who do the wrong thing, like break curfew…”

                    I still stick to my comment.

                • @Velocita: But why they not getting fined?

    • +13

      hacked by a kid in melbourne last time. Our government seems pretty hopeless when it comes to web page or app design. For example, try using their online covid vaccine booking system - it failed twice for me then I was advised by email to phone which only took 5 mins! And their disastrous destruction of the covid tracing app that was given to them by the Singapore Government as a functioning (in Singapore) app. It took Australia 6 months to make it worse and unworkable and we paid millions to one of scomo's mate's business to do it!

      • +1

        Site was working fine. It's just then too much traffic and bomb out after delta outbreak. Before end of June site works perfectly

        • nope…there was and still is an error where it lets you choose a time and date for the first vaccination but you can't book it in because there are no times/dates available for the 2nd dose.

          When I called NSW Health they said it was a bug meaning there are no more times/dates available at all

          Then there are those who have booked in weeks in advance for Pfizer only to rock up and be told there is no Pfizer for them

          • +3

            @bobolo: NSW Health is not ABS.

            They are completely different government agencies.

  • +266

    Why wouldn't you?
    It helps everyone in the end.

    • +9

      ^^ this

      • How it helps?

        • +1

          learning when population is expanding and what age groups so they can pretend to care and nto build new hospitals, schools, copshops etc.

        • +1

          "Census data is used to inform important decisions about transport, schools, health care, infrastructure and business. It also helps plan local services for individuals, families and communities."

          Source: https://www.abs.gov.au/census/planning-2021-census/overview

    • +17

      I really want to upvote this comment, but it's at 69 right now.


    • +10

      I finished it in 20min, questions are basic. if people got issues with it, they got lots to hide or paranoid due to high drug usage.

    • +12

      I don't want people tracking my data! hold on, I need to make a facebook check in @crown casino.

      *Sent from my iphone

    • -1

      Why wouldn't you?

      Because they threaten you with a big stick if you don't do it. Fined every day you don't fill in the form?

      We're in a pandemic. I'm sick of being ordered to comply with all these never-ending rules, or else punishment awaits.

      Curfews, lockdowns, no work, no family, no travel, no travel further than 5km, masks, check in everywhere, jab jab get the jab, "it's for the common good and because you will get fined if you don't"…. I'm over it. They can shove their census. Fine me every day, I don't care.

      • +8

        Give these guys a call, mate:

        They will help you during these difficult times.

        • -2

          Give these guys a call, mate:

          Huh? My opinion of the census and its threat of penalty, and endless covid rules and lockdowns, has nothing to do with mental health and more to do with considered objection and highly reasoned criticism. I guess your go-to response when someone disagrees with you, or says something you don't like is to send them a lifeline link, reddit keyboard warrior style.

          • +3

            @cerealJay: You seriously don't sound well.

            There is nothing wrong with hating lock downs. They suck. But if census is your breaking point you probably need to talk to someone qualified to help you work though your frustration.

        • -2

          Yes, hotlines solve everything.

          Wait 6 hours in a queue so you can talk about your feelings. It'll fix the fact you have a gun in your mouth with the incompetent government causing outbreak after outbreak while we happily give up living to contain it each time.

          Can't work, can't pay the land lord, can't protest, got to live with people losing their shit and at each other's throats all day at home.

          Yeah call the hotline mate, it'll solve everything.

          What a stupid comment to make.

      • +1

        It's not the census' fault that we are going through some shitty times.

        It takes 10 minutes, just load it up now and do it so you can avoid the stress of fines later.

        • -5

          "do it so you can avoid the stress of fines later."

          LOL, that's exactly why I'm not doing it.

          You won't have much of a life if everything you do it motivated by "not being fined".

          • @cerealJay: When you are right, you are right.

            Why wouldn't you film yourself doing donuts in the police employee parking lot then start a new post here with a link to the video on Youtube and a photo of your fine? Sounds pretty fun.

            • @This Guy:

              Why wouldn't you film yourself doing donuts in the police employee parking lot

              Not sure what you're on about, but doing donuts breaks the agreement I signed when applying for a license to use the roads. I have no such agreement about completing a census.

              You'll need to wake up a lot earlier to get anywhere near a "gotcha" on this subject if you're trying to relate dangerous driving with not completing a census.

              • @cerealJay: The agreement about completing a census is one of the stupidest things I've heard this week. Get over and done with it mate, it takes 20 minutes. You've spent all this time ranting when you could have done the census like any normal person in 20 minutes and move on with your life.

                I don't get why you're complaining, the census helps us as Australians. All the data recorded down will help us with schooling, hospitals, and infrastructures. The "agreement" was locked in when you decided to live as an Australian, and frankly, I'm extremely fortunate and happy with this deal.

              • +1

                @cerealJay: You agree by being an Australian Citizen.

                If you no longer wish to be an Australian Citizen then you should leave or join a micronation and never use any public infrastructure again.

                • @Nereosis: I agreed by being born? nice try, no cigar. "Agreement" requires an actual agreement, not just "existing".

                  • +1

                    @cerealJay: Yes, and by staying you agree.

                    Never said it was fair but that's how it works.
                    You can downvote me all you want but by being born here and living here you agree to the rules and obligations of being a citizen.

                    If you don't want to do that that burden is on you to leave.

                    • @Nereosis:

                      If you don't want to do that that burden is on you to leave.

                      News flash: it's not possible to leave Australia. It's not possible to leave Victoria. It's not possible to leave my suburb.

                      by staying you agree.

                      Nope. That only applies if someone else expects rent payments or taxes to be paid, which I comply with because I get something in return.

                      Like I said, the census at my house is going in the bin. Don't like it? Okay… um, sorry to hear that!

                      • +1

                        @cerealJay: You can say no as much as you like mate it doesn't change the fact that by living here and by being a citizen you agree to certain rules and obligations.
                        If you break those rules you can be punished and there's nothing you can do about it.

                        I hope you enjoy making your life harder for literally no benefit.

              • +1

                @cerealJay: How is doing donuts in a parking lot dangerous?

                Oh no! They broke traction :( I only loose traction when I drive beyond my capabilities. They must not have control of their car. They must be driving dangerously.

                You must be young. Before camcorders and 12 hour work days, at four pm the teenagers did donuts down the park, the posties did donuts at the impound and the cops did donuts in their parking lot.

                Donuts are bad for the environment and can be annoying, but as long as the person doing them has half a brain the only thing dangerous about donuts is the smoke.

                For someone who is so anti government interference you sure do like exerting control on the working class.

      • +5

        I'm over it. They can shove their census. Fine me every day, I don't care.

        damn right.
        Red Lights? screw it, I'm driving through those.
        Garbage bins? screw it, I'm throwing my rubbish in the bushes.
        Having to pay for things in a shop? nope, may as well just shoplift.

        The amount of government restrictions we have to put up with we may as well be a communist nation right?


        • -1

          Those things aren't equivalent. In all those cases you listed, I'd be performing an action which is harmful or dangerous to others, and obviously require penalties.

          • +1


            Those things aren't equivalent. In all those cases you listed, I'd be performing an action which is harmful or dangerous to others, and obviously require penalties.

            "Curfews, lockdowns, no work, no family, no travel, no travel further than 5km, masks, check in everywhere, jab jab get the jab,"

            you mean, like not doing these ones?

            • @SBOB: Pathetic attempt at twisting my words. No, I don't mean like not doing those ones.

              The subject is the census, and the threat of penalty for not doing it. If I don't do it, no harm comes to anyone else.

              I raised the subject of covid restrictions to illustrate the burden of rules imposed on us at present. I made no mention of not complying with those covid rules. Obviously I meant the onslaught of covid restrictions rules and penalties, is not helped by sending everyone a census with yet another threat of heavy fines for "not filling it in".

              If you're too slow to understand, I can't help you.

              • @cerealJay: Oh..I understand.
                It's your list of words not mine. Don't blame me if you're initial rant wasn't cohesive.

                You complained about having to complete a census, because you're sick of the government making you do stuff and the possible penalties involved.

                Like somehow being in a pandemic and those restrictions were basis for you not needing to complete the census, and 'damn the man, I'm not going to do it'

                If anything, it's the perfect time for a census…everyone is stuck at home in lockdown anyway, fill the form in between drinks :)

                • +1


                  initial rant

                  You mean my initial "comment", clearly replying to the question "why wouldn't you do the census". I suppose I could have written one "cohesive" paragraph instead of three.

                  Seems like you're aiming for "discrediting" the participants in a discussion in order to elevate your own position. The accusation of lack of cohesion in my post is amusing.

                  'damn the man, I'm not going to do it'

                  Now you're getting it. Have you ever in your life had a "damn the man" moment? Or are you more the "shutup and do what you're told" kinda guy. I don't need answer.

                  • @cerealJay: No one will see your silent protest and the gov surely wont see all the fines they give you and say 'damn we better do something different, cerealJay is really sticking it to us.'

                    Of course everyone has had a damn the man moment, but I air my frustrations in ways that I am not the one who feels the burn, I suggest you do the same.

                    Further, the census data is some of the only data collection that you are given access to the results of as well as the tools to transform and compare data at your own will. The ABS is (profanity) brilliant and that data used is quite often for justification of policy on top of informing the public - which is done in a way that shows respect your intelligence.

                    I personally don't care about changing your mind - you've made it clear to others you aren't interested, I'm just curious about your view.

                    There's been truckloads of rules and fines forever, I'm more curious about why the census is the hill to die on?

                    • @TheRightGuy:

                      No one will see your silent protest

                      You've seen it, and seem rattled by it.

                      I air my frustrations in ways…. I suggest you do the same.

                      Follow the ways and suggestions of some random tool on ozbargain? Nah I'm good! I'm sure you have all kinds of authority in your own kitchen, directing traffic and controlling who unloads the dishwasher. But that's where it ends, champ. On here, you're fumbling about making amusing efforts to stomp your foot about the rules of census law.

                      I'm just curious about your view.

                      Your words aren't curious. I've explained my view, and it's odd you're still here in a flap.

                      I'm not doing the census, on account of the highly in appropriate threat of daily $200 fines for everyone currently in lockdown. You say the ABS is brilliant, and I say their threats to enforce a substantial punishment at this time, is not okay. Not this year. The census at my house is going in recycle bin. I am not encouraging anyone else to do that, it's my choice.

                      hill to die on

                      There's no hill, and no dying. It's a census with some dud questions about my income, religion and stuff that helps a tiny minority work out where to put the next Bunnings. Oh and researchers who want to make pretty graphs showing age vs income and exciting stuff like that.

                      There's been truckloads of rules

                      "Foot in door" technique. When you allow fines to reach ridiculous heights for not completing a form, that exceed running red lights and other actual life-threatening actions, and call the source of that threat "profanity brilliant", some might say you've lost your way.

                      • @cerealJay:

                        when you allow fines to reach ridiculous heights for not completing a form, that exceed running red lights and other actual life-threatening actions, and call the source of that threat "profanity brilliant", some might say you've lost your way.

                        - each year, do you complete your tax return?
                        - when buying a vehicle, do you complete the registration transfer within the required time period?
                        - at election time, do you vote?

                        all of these aren't life threatening actions, and may contain financial penalties for not completing within the prescribed period, but I'm sure you 'roll over' for these ones.

                        • -2


                          each year, do you complete your tax return?

                          Not always. I missed 4 years in a row, went to accountant in Sydney who said I might be fined but "we'll try"…. and I wasn't fined. Got nice big return all at once. All years were full time work.

                          But you're talking about different things. Vehicle rego is obviously a specific contract relating to use of the roads, which requires strict frameworks to keep everything safe, and money flowing towards road maintenance etc. The census is a survey and has no such direct relationship with outcomes. And further more, not everyone was intending to be living where they are now due to pandemic, the disruption will skew results. (eg, apartment living is less popular but won't be reflected yet in census.)

                          At election time, I can certainly choose to draw a cartoon on the ballot paper if I wish. I wouldn't describe that as "yes I vote".

                          At this point, your best move is to choose another topic of discussion.

                      • -1

                        @cerealJay: Not only am I not rattled, I meant no one of consequence will notice. I do not make the rules, I do not enforce the rules, I do not work @ the abs.

                        When I said curious about your view, I meant the reasons that you haven't referenced similar action with other rules. I was prodding for more clarity regarding how you pick your battles. I didn't name any particular rules to break because I respected you enough to not pigeonhole you or look like I was setting up a 'gotcha'. I think that was very plain to see.

                        If you truly oppose over reach from the government then yes, following my ways would be more relevant and impactful. My ways rely data from a number of sources - one of which is the ABS. Sometimes involves supplying info useful to fight real invasions on privacy, raids, and scare campaigns from the fed. Another way helps project future potential public needs for an area like public schools, as well as developing existing areas to keep up. There's literally enough data on there for you to uncover corrupt political action too which you certainly seem to be interested in.

                        I never stomped my foot, I already said I'm not here to change your mind and I certainly don't care if you pay a fine or not.

                        Hill to die on is an old idiom and you know it applies in this instance.

                        You can do far far more with the free, in browser tools on the ABS website that age v income. It's a powerful public resource. I suggest you get a handle on it because your life will be better.

                        (profanity) was subbed in by OZB, I obviously didn't type that.
                        I was the nicest person to you in this thread and I'm just going to assume your response implied I was hostile because of dealing with responding all night.

                        • @TheRightGuy:

                          no one of consequence will notice

                          You seem convinced I'm on some mission here to attract the attention of "people of consequence".

                          I'm here now replying to comments on this platform. You have no idea about anything I may or may not be doing outside of this platform. I don't for one second expect ABS or the government or anyone other than a few crusty ozbargainers to notice these actual posts.

                          You're trying to build a case whereby my "protest" is insignificant and silent because… I'm "cerealJay on OzBargain" and instead I should follow "The right guy" because you apparently hold the wisdom!

                          Mate, put the crackpipe down. The questions in the census are narrowly focused, much of it could be obtained by means other than threatening the entire population with hefty fines for not submitting their employer's address or where you lived 5 years ago. And the main point is that during a strict lockdown, things like the census with threat of fines, should be POSTPONED. People's lives, living circumstances and jobs are disrupted. The data will be skewed and unreliable for forecasting after the pandemic is over. I can't assist any further with explaining this point.

                          • -1

                            @cerealJay: My workplace has random drug testing mate and given the entirety of your interaction on this page has been incredibly reactionary it's a little rich you say to put the crackpipe down.

                            Your reasoning or lack thereof has decent overlap with antivaxxer facebook yoga warriors. If that's what you're all about you could've just said so when I initially asked what drives your ideals.

                            I hope one day someone sees you as the hero you see yourself as.

  • +24

    There's nothing on there they don't already know.

    • +7

      Well apparently they don't want to know your sexual orientation this time around.

      • +33

        Not enough fields

      • -1

        I guess they've given up on arranged marriages

      • My partner is out for the night. Mine asked if I had a child with my extremely prepubescent child of the same gender….

    • +6

      Also like the only department that is pretty trustworthy is ABS, there's no dubious middle men like some other shit like the healthapp thing

    • -5

      So why should I have to waste my time filling it out then?

    • +2

      How could they possibly already know everything on the census for 20+ million people?

      • +3

        There's not that much on the census. Name, address and DOB. If you've had any dealings with the government at all they have these details. Ever worked a job that wasn't cash in hand? Then they know your income and where you work as well. What else was on there? How much house work you do and if you do any volunteer work. Big deal. This just cross checks and consolidates what they already know. Do you really think they don't already know this basic level stuff?

        • +3

          Have you ever worked in government?

          You are not allowed to share that sort of information between departments except under strict circumstances.
          The ABS can't ask the ATO for this information.

  • +55

    For a developed country that still has many faults, it's worthwhile to try address some of these… And providing this data can help.

    The comments on social media etc against this are the same people who don't realise they give up information through other various means, often more intrusive and involuntarily with less positive impact on their lives.

    Allocation of funding, location of key public services and other means of gentrification initiatives can come from this data as well as providing insight into the state of the population at x age points

    • +39

      The comments on social media etc against this a

      the irony is lost on these people who dont want to divulge personal details, yet post on social media

      • This ^

        • I heard someone wants to put on 10 pensioners for the night lol do they really know

      • +26

        Has a birth certificate
        Has a medicare card
        Has a passport
        Has a mobile phone sim
        Has a driving license
        Signed up to every social media clown fiesta

        Asked to just give a census

        Mind blown: BuT My RiGhTs AnD PrIvAcY

        • You forgot to add anti-vaxxer to that list

        • +2

          Asked to just give a census

          Huh? Did you miss the part where they stand over you with a big stick and threaten to use it if you don't "just give a census"?

          You are not being asked. You are being commanded, told, ordered. Punishment awaits for non-compliance. Fined every day you don't do it. That doesn't align with any of those other things you mention.

          • +1

            @cerealJay: This sounds like the conspiracists who don't believe in voting, just because it is compulsory.
            "I don't want a say in how the country is run and in future decisions of national importance, I wanna cry coz it's nasty govt mind control"
            Sometimes you need to think things through for yourself, but then again, some folks are not capable of even doing that.

    • +1

      What's the point completing this when Morrison/Liberals make corrupt decisions like pork barreling money into their chosen seats without due process?

      • +18

        So we can uncover their use of our money.
        Without ABS data it would be impossible to tell,

      • +4

        It provides us the ground truth data to uncover the corruption.

      • +3

        Pork barreling and corruption is the only bipartisan thing in politics

    • Social media is voluntary. The census is not. That is the difference.

      • The whole point of the census being mandatory is that it is useless unless you get a very significant portion of the population to complete it.
        If only 30% of the population completed it then it's not a accurate representation of Australia.
        That's why so much is done to make sure that everyone has access to it.

        F off with this mandatory vs voluntary shit. You are a citizen in a country you have to put up with certain requirements.
        If you want to complain about mandatory census (or voting as some people do) then stop using any public infrastructure.
        No roads, no foot paths, no water from the tap, no health care, no police.

        • -1

          It was a response to the assertion was that we should not worry about privacy issues because we are happy to hand over details to facebook. To say we we are happy to give facebook information does not mean the census should be mandatory.

          • @Vallani: I don't think you understand the amount of data social media collects and then shares with other companies, and government organisations like law enforcement.

            The census is literally to decide where to build schools, hospitals and roads. Law enforcement buys social media data (and uses warrants) to arrest dumb criminals and find teenage patsies for whatever we are currently calling the war on terror.

            If you are happy to share all of your darkest secrets with people looking to sell you junk and arrest you, then you really shouldn't be complaining about the government asking a few questions to help spend your tax money on you.

          • @Vallani: Did you just ignore how I explained why the census is mandatory?

            If too few people complete the census then it is literally useless, that is why it is madatory.
            Privacy has nothing to do with the mandatory nature.

            • @Nereosis: @Nerosis privacy has everything to do with the issue.

              By unnecessarily making the census personally identifiable, they are compromising people's willingness to comply. That's why the ABS needs to make ever greater threats about the mandatory nature of the census and pretend they are going to issue fines for non-compliance. The ABS have turned the census from what it always used to be and what it should be - a statistical snapshot - into a longitudinal study in which vast databases are compiled on every citizen from birth to death through statistical linkage keys. If people spoil their census forms or simply don't complete the census the ABS only has itself to blame.

        • so, you threaten people with no water or healthcare or rule of law if they don't fill out a piece of paper. do you realise how little that says all those things are worth?

  • +21

    The data will be skewed for several questions with so many in lockdown and WFH.

    Also, new religion - ozbargainism (then Scotty will never have to pay taxes again and can share the love equally between members)

    • -13

      ozbargainism … share the love equally

      I see what you’ve done there.

  • +2

    Nothing else to do during lockdown :)

    • +1

      Lockdown - Residents' quiz - A game for the whole family.

  • +15
  • +47

    Having previously worked for the ABS as a field officer, can confirm you'll be receiving a few knocks on your door in the next few weeks if you don't complete it, and if you don't have a reeeeeeeeeally good reason not to complete it, you'll cop a fine. If anyone is planning to skip out on it, just save yourself the hassle and get it done - completing it takes much less time than dealing with the ABS chasing you up about it.

    • -49

      Many people are concerned regarding privacy, which is a good reason in any democratic country.

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