Last night, the Census 2016 website was shut down, leaving a ton of Australians in the lurch. Everybody has to complete the Census on August 9 or they may be fined, right? Well, actually, you have until September 23 to submit the survey online.
The Census and Statistics Act 1905 makes the Census compulsory and allows the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to fine people up to $180 a day for not completing the survey. While the ABS encourages Australians to fill out the Census on a designated day, that's not the real deadline.
So what happens to everybody who couldn't log onto the Census 2016 online form last night?
In a statement to the ABC News, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said those people will not be fined.
Previously, ABS Census and Statistical Network Division general manager Chris Libreri said that while it is preferred that the forms are completed by August 9, people actually have until September 23 to submit it online.
He also commented to News.com.au that people are rarely fined for not completing the Census on time:
" No one has ever been fined for being late with their Census form, the fines are only if you eyes-open refuse to a Census collector …It’s not about being late or not receiving the form. We allow two weeks for people to do their forms and put them in before we start the field visitation phase."
So there you have it. You still have time to complete the Census.