CENSUS: Massive daily fines could hit those who opt to dodge Census night on August 9.
CENSUS: Massive daily fines could hit those who opt to dodge Census night on August 9. Bev Lacey

What happens if you don't take part in the Census

HOW important is completing the Census?

Very, if you're looking to keep government hands off your hard-earned cash.

You could be fined $180 per day for every day you fail to complete the nationwide survey after the official August 9 Census date.

In comparison, getting done for speeding less than 13kmh over the limit will only set you back $162 and one demerit point.

Do you think Census is important?

This poll ended on 06 August 2016.

Current Results

Yes, because it provides important information about the country.


No, I think it's just the government being nosy.


I don't think it's necessary but I'll do it anyway.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

That's one hell of an important survey to be considered more costly than speeding!

Failure to vote in the March 19 local election would've only cost you $58.50- three times less than the daily fines you could risk by not completing the epic Australian Bureau of Statistics survey.

Scattering the ashes of a loved one without family attending at a Sunshine Coast cemetery costs $146.

Parking for seven days at the Sunshine Coast Airport's short stay area will only set you back $139 while a paid parking offence will only cost you $35.

So why is this once-every-five-year survey so important?


Wurtulla family Skye, 13yo, Leanne, Zoe, 11yo Holly,3yo and Todd Williams look over the Census form that they will fill out next week.Photo: Nicholas Falconer / Sunshine Coast Daily
FLASHBACK: Wurtulla family Skye (13), Leanne, Zoe (11), Holly (3) and Todd Williams looking over a Census form back in 2011. Nicholas Falconer

According to the Census charter on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website, the Census aims are to "accurately measure the number and certain key characteristics of people in Australia on Census Night and the dwellings in which they live".

The survey also looks to "provide timely, high quality and relevant data for small geographic areas and small population groups, to complement the rich but broad level data provided by ABS surveys".

So what does that really mean?

In 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded 1.69 million hits from 9am-12 noon, more than 9400 hits per minute, following the release of the 2006 Census data on June 27, 2007.

The data helps drive the allocation of Commonwealth funds to state and local governments as well as help determine the number of seats in the House of Representatives for each state and territory.

The Bureau reported a number of examples of direct action stemming from previous Census surveys, including targeted home nursing care delivery and even major retail organisations using the data to plan shopping centres better catering to population needs.

So August 9, next Tuesday, looms as a massive day in shaping the future of our nation.

With 40,000 trained staff out and about handing out material, taking calls and assisting the completion of the surveys, the Census hopes to this year capture about 24 million people from 10 million dwellings.

Census responses can be done online again this year, with a unique code sent out to households this week.

You can also choose to fill out the survey via hard copy by requesting the Census paper from 1300 820 275 and returning the Census via reply paid envelope.

Everyone in Australia must complete the survey on Census night with many expected to do online this year.


CENSUS COMING: Warwick residents will fill in the national census August 9. Photo Shannon Newley/Warwick Daily News
CENSUS COMING: Coast residents will fill in the national Census on August 9 with plenty expected to do so online this year. Shannon Newley

So what if you're not home?

If you're staying with family or friends on Census night, make sure they include you on their form.

If you're staying in a hotel, caravan park, Airbnb or other accommodation, your accommodation provider should have a Census form ready for you upon arrival.

This also includes international visitors, who are required to fill out the Census.

For remote travellers, Census forms will be kept with Special Field Officers at remote truck stops and caravan parks, to allow travellers the chance to stop in and either pick up a form or learn how to complete it online.

If you've been relocated due to natural disaster, filling out the Census using your usual address will help direct rebuilding efforts and planning decisions.

Overseas for the big one? Well, good news, you've got a free pass on Census night.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are also urged to fill in the Census accurately, to help plan for health, education and other services.

Regional and remote residents should still received a letter, however, they may also be visited by a Field Officer.

Share house and university accommodation residents are all also required to take part, as are people with no known address, FIFO/DIDO workers and 457 Visa holders.

So how can you be sure your information won't be shared around? ABS staff are bound by the Census and Statistics Act 1905 to keep information collected confidential. If they don't they face either $21,600 in fines, two years in jail or even both.