The Australian Bureau of Statistics is expecting to hear from you on Census night — whether you’re home or not. The organisation has devised a comprehensive network of delivery options to ensure everybody does their bit for democracy, not matter where they are. Whether you’re lost on a lonely rural highway or shacked up in an internet-free hotel, the ABS still have ways of making you talk. Here’s what you need to know if you plan to be away on August 9.
Maybe you genuinely have plans on Census night or maybe you’re just trying to dodge the survey to keep your privacy intact. Either way, the ABS has put systems in place to ensure you have no excuse. As the Bureau explains on its website:
Everyone who is in Australia on Census night needs to participate in the Census, no matter where you are. Whether you are an international visitor, travelling to remote areas, simply travelling interstate or staying away from home due to a natural disaster or other reason, arrangements have been made for you to complete the Census.
Here’s a full list solutions provided by the ABS for people who plan to be away on Census night.
What if I’m staying with family or friends?
“If you are staying with family or friends on Census night, make sure you are included on their form.”
What if I’m staying in other accommodation?
“For those staying at an accommodation service such as a hotel, serviced apartment, hostel or caravan park, your accommodation service provider will give you a form when you arrive.”
What if I’m travelling in remote areas?
“Special Field Officers will be found at certain locations in remote areas such as truck stops and caravan parks. They will provide you with a Census form or information on how to complete the Census online. If you are travelling and staying in remote parts of Australia on Census night, and do not receive a Census form from a dedicated pick-up location, please contact the Census Inquiry Service.”
What if I’m away from home due to natural disaster?
“In areas that have experienced natural disasters, the Census will count how many people reside in, or intend to return to, the affected areas. Answers to the question about your usual address will provide accurate information about these areas to inform planning decisions and rebuilding efforts.”
What if I’m an international visitor?
“If you are visiting Australia on Census night, you are required to participate. Your accommodation provider will give you a form or details of how to complete the Census online.”
Unoccupied dwelling or property
“If you have a property or dwelling that you know will be empty on Census night please contact the Census Inquiry Service.”
What if I’m at work on Census night?
“If you’re working on Census night and return home the next day, you should include the details of your usual dwelling on your Census form. You should complete your form as soon as possible.”
As you can see, they’ve pretty much thought of everything. The fact there will be Census-dispensing Bureau agents lurking around remote truck stops and caravan parks is pretty astounding. In fact, the only people who will be be able to use the “away from home” excuse are international travellers:
If you are not in Australia on Census night, you are not required to complete the Census. If you’re overseas on Census night, we use the information collected on overseas departure cards from Australia’s ports and airports to add Australian residents back in – you will still be counted.