The Australian Census Website Is Down

Tonight is Census night, on the first year that the majority of Australia is expected to complete the quadrennial count of our country's population online. The Australian Bureau of Statistics' servers were load-tested at 150 per cent of the expected usage levels, but despite that, a number of users are still having trouble loading the page.

According to the ABS, 16 million Australians — 65 per cent of the population, or over 6 million households — are expected to complete the Census entirely online. To do this, letters were sent to each Australian household with a unique twelve-digit code that allows a form to be completed online on the website. That website, at the moment, is not responding for some users as of 7:55PM tonight:

Update: As of 8:35PM, the Census website is still unresponsive: reports that the Census site is experiencing difficulties connecting to users.

Update: ABS has posted this update on Twitter acknowledging the outage:

Contracts have revealed that ABS spent more than $114,000 on load testing for the online Census:

Update: That's on top of a $325,000 charge for 'licenses for Census load testing', apparently. #CensusFail indeed.

Just a reminder: if you can't fill your Census form out tonight, you won't get fined. In fact, you have until September 23 to submit your household's Census details, so we suggest you try it again tomorrow, later in the week, or even next month.

Update: As of 11:00PM, the ABS has said that the Census website will remain down until some time tomorrow morning.

Time to give up, folks, and try again tomorrow. If you still want to.



    I'm sending a bill to ABS for $180 per day until I can complete my Census form online. #absjerkoffs

      Don't you just wish....

    I work 10 hour days get home at 8pm at night and try to do the right thing and complete the census. I have been trying since 8pm to get on and I still can't. All I can say is they better not try to fine me because I need to go to bed soon so I can get up at 5.30am and do it all again tomorrow.

    Likewise I had completed my entire census and hit submit, which also timed out after trying to load and it did not happen. I'm advised the website is down and I honestly can not be bothered re-entering all this information again if and when its up and running. I have done the right thing, they can stuff their census up their backside. Knowing that the entire population was completing this on-line they should have ensured that their systems could cater to it.

    Can just imagine the Tech's saying, but it works on my machine.

    Tonight the Australian Government has released the largest internet fraud ever. Fine everyone for not completing the census. Well Done.

    Emigrated from one but still living under a 3rd world government!!

    went in no problemo, submitted no problemo... now, let's get back to blaming and flaming!

      Bee trying since 8:00pm, it is now nearly 10.00pm. Cannot log on so don't know how you did, or did not get in? Could be location but I am on direct NBN fiber to the home, QLD, 4303.

      Congratulations, but your experience is in the minority.

      I'm a lot calmer now that I've found I have until September but I keep getting told to come back later.

    What a waste of time wonder if we can claim lost time against tax

    Welcome to today's IT, provided on the cheap while 10s of thousands of competent IT workers can't get a job. Where technical decisions are made by listening to sales people and ignoring the few technicians left.Did anybody really think this wasn't going to be a fiasco.

    Bwahahaha but the clowns in the suits reassured us sheep that everything was going to be fine .. I expect no better everything governments touch they stuff up .how about we have a revolution instead of a census and get rid of these overpaid ,freeloading parasites! cant wait for the excuses

    Last edited 09/08/16 9:40 pm

    I had an IT job interview 4 years back at abs, and I failed. Now I am glad I did not join the Dept, what a crap, someone should be sent to the Court

    I need to know if we are going to get fined for not completing the census on the designated day (9th August) why did the website crash and why can't we get through on the 1300 214 531 number? Just not good enough we pay way too much in taxes for this inadequate service. Our Government is a joke!! Very unhappy customer.

    What a joke the site does not load how can I fill out this stupid census you idiots,if you think I'am going to pay a fine that will NOT HAPPEN

    Welcome to the future.
    The power of innovation will make our nation strong.
    We can always pivot if it doesn't work out, fail often and fail early.
    Oh forgot, we only get one shot at this every five years ...

    Kept on trying for the last 4 hours, I gave up. Our politicians can't keep a stable government how the hell can they get a simple website to work. I'm going to do it by paper, the old school way! Modern government and technology don't work!

    Don't you just love Technology these days, Give me paper any day. What were the Government thinking or do they ever think. How stupid overloading the Internet. It will never work. Go back to the olden days where there we never had any problems.

    What a joke ABS. 2.5hrs and still not online for census. If you think I'm paying a fine your sadly mistaken. Geez blind Freddy could see this coming.

    Too bad if you're leaving the country on a holiday tomorrow eh??

      You understand an online Census can be done from other countries right?

    i knew it this will happen not a computer nerd, just common sense

    Anybody from a web background could have advised the government that the servers were never every going to stay up long enough to allow 7 million households to lodge form data across such a short period of time. You only have to look at the most recent events of single day special buy sites to know this was going to be a disaster. Click Frenzy here in Australia, Singles day from Alibaba, Black Friday in the US. All have experienced some sort of server issues when you try to push millions of people into a customer lodgement database all at the same time. It will crash pure and simple. Looking at some of these shopping events they have learnt that you just cannot do this across a single day and you must spread these events across several days up to at lease a week to allow for maximum up time for servers. This is very basic computer science stuff here OZ government. A 12 year old on YouTube would have advised don't do this. Shit, even an independent Senator with no computer background even knew this would happen. If you ever decide to run the Census online again, call me first and I will be glad to advise you for $200K what would be the best solution for your Census, which is still about $150K less then the load testing contracts that you already had in place for this Census. This is not one of the processes I would have suggested.

    This is Bullshit. Like people don't have anything else to do than try to log in to a website. Spent 2 hours already. gotta help my parents too, they falling asleep. They are 85. We are all PISSED OFF!!!!!!!!!! GOV GET BENT!!!!!!

    i have been trying for the last two hours to onto the census site with no luck what so ever. i think it is time for a drink. i hope i dont get a fine as that will be an interesting conversation.

    if this is as good as the internet is here in Australia Cheryl I'm getting back on my leaky boat and going home.

    I ain't got time to sit up & wait for there stuff ups, I have work tomorrow, give me paper any day go back to the old way. Can't trust Technology, this is bloody ridiculous.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now