The Australian Census Deadline Is Today (Which Means Fines Are Not Far Away)

The Australian Census Deadline Is Today (Which Means Fines Are Not Far Away)

If you haven’t got around to completing the Australian Census yet, you need to do it right now. From September 23, census holdouts will start to receive less-than-friendly visits from the ABS. If you don’t have a sufficient excuse for not submiting the form, you could face penalties of up to $180 per day. If you’ve forgotten your Census login code, are concerned about privacy or have no idea what’s going on, here’s what you need to know.

Completing the online Census only takes around 15 minutes. In order to use the eCensus, you’ll need to enter your 12 digit Census Login which you should have received in the mail over a month ago. If you can’t find it, we’ve included instructions below on how to organise a replacement.

If you refuse to complete the census for privacy reasons, you might be able to avoid the without getting fined. Again, you can find out how to pull off this legally questionable caper below.

To help you make the right decision, we’ve pulled the relevant census posts from the archives. If you still haven’t completed yours, we’re curious to hear why. Tell us all about it in the comments!

Ten Things To Remember When Completing The 2016 Online Census

The 2016 Census is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, August 9. For the first time, the online version — or “eCensus” — is the default method for filling in the national survey. As with the 2011 version, most of the online process is fairly self-explanatory, but here are ten issues to bear in mind.

Here’s What To Do If You Lost Your Census Code

This year’s Australian Census is being conducted primarily online. Last week you should have received your 12-digit Census Login number which you need to log into the online survey. But what happens if you accidentally misplaced it? Here’s what you need to know.

Is It Legal To Leave The Census Blank?

In the lead up to Census night, some Australians are very much against participating as this will be the first time name and address information will be retained by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The Census is compulsory, as the ABS continues to remind us, but is it legal to leave the survey form blank? Let’s find out.

Census 2016: Should We Be Concerned About Our Privacy?

As you’ve probably heard, names and addresses collected as part of the 2016 Census will be retained to enable the census to be linked to other national data. (Names and addresses had previously been retained for 18 months, but the information is now planned to be kept for up to four years.) So should you be worried?

How To Dodge Census 2016 To Protect Your Privacy

This year’s Census conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will not be anonymous. Your name and address information will be retained for up to four years. This new Census arrangement has privacy pundits up in arms. Yet, it’s compulsory for all Australian households to submit their information. So what should you do if you value your privacy and don’t want to fill out the Census form? Here are some suggestions on how to avoid it.

How To Keep Your Name Off The Census Without Getting Fined

Census night is tomorrow. This year’s Census will be the first one to retain name and address information from respondents. If you’re still against filling out the lengthy and probing survey due to privacy concerns, you may be able to get away with leaving key information out without being slapped a hefty fine. Here’s how.

Will I Really Get Fined For Not Completing The Australian Census?

Dear Lifehacker, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and had a recommended page which was by Census Australia. I started going through the comments to see what people were saying and was astonished to see multiple responses by the ABS talking about a $180 fine if we don’t complete the Census. Is this true? Can they really fine us for refusing to divulge every bit of information we have about ourselves? What are my legal rights here? Thanks, Mighty Pissed Off

Why You Shouldn’t Put ‘Jedi’ As Your Religion On The Census [Infographic]

In the 2006 Australian Census, 58,053 people put “Jedi” down as their religion. In 2011, this number had jumped to 64,390. With Star Wars now more popular than ever thanks to the new movies, it is expected that the number of “practicing Jedis” will explode in this year’s Census. It’s a testament to Australia’s larrikin sense of humour (not to mention our slavish devotion to US pop culture) — but not everybody is amused. This infographic explains why you might want to reconsider the joke.


  • Even though I completed mine, I keep getting a ‘census enforcement officer’ coming to my house every day threatening me with a fine so every day I tell him to eat a bag of d****.
    I will ROFL if they try to fine me, douche bag tries to tell me im a plague on society for boycotting it. Not the thing to say to someone in his own home JASON…

  • I completed the census at my parents’ place, as that is where I was on the night of the census.
    But I still get the census officer leaving notes in my mail…

  • A few points worth noting, since the media coverage is consistently inaccurate:
    1. Fines are in rare and extreme cases. eg. a person consistently refuses to complete the Census after multiple requests. Only 78 people were fined in 2011. Worth noting that the fines are not new to the Census process, and are not something the ABS does readily, but it is part of a law that’s existed since 1905.
    2. The Census collection is based on places more than people, so if noone was at a particular home on Census night that’s something that the ABS needs to be told.
    3. The online form is available until Sunday at 5pm, paper forms can still be received after that.

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