The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Chris Pearce

Chris Pearce

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

26 October 2004 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 29/11/2005

NO.045

OUR CHANCE TO MAKE HISTORY

Ahead of the next national Census of Population and Housing, the Information Paper, Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, has been tabled today.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Hon Chris Pearce MP, commented “The content of the 2006 Census follows extensive community consultation. The Information Paper tabled today shows that four new topics have been added to the Census, and Australians also will have the option in 2006 of filling out their Census forms on the Internet, with the new eCensus option.”

“Following a successful trial in the 2001 Census, all Australians will again be able to choose to have the information on their Census form preserved for 99 years by the National Archives of Australia. At the end of that period, the material will be released for research purposes," Mr Pearce said.

“When this option was first made available in 2001, over 52 per cent of Census respondents chose to be involved. Again, Australians who choose not to have their Census information retained can be assured that the information will destroyed after processing by the ABS is completed.”

"Those who wish to take part can indicate on the Census form that they specifically agree to have their information retained. The National Archives will ensure that the information is kept safe and secure and will not be released until the end of the 99 year period.

"This initiative is strongly supported by genealogists and social historians, and gives all Australians the chance to be included in the historical research of the future.

“The Census is the most wide-ranging data collection undertaken by the ABS, involving contact with every household in the nation. It provides a statistical snapshot of the whole population in terms of number, age, geographical distribution and a range of other characteristics.

“The vast statistical output from the Census is available to everyone in the community through the ABS. Census information is used to assist in planning, administration, policy development, program evaluation and research. Census information also tells us about our community, and about the society in which we live.

“It is used as the basis for population figures which determine federal funding to the States, Territories and local government areas and also the number of seats each State and Territory has in the House of Representatives.

“The Census is a vital component in planning properly for the wellbeing of all Australians,” Mr Pearce said.

CANBERRA

Contact:
Gillian Harvey (03) 9887 3890 or 0411 567 060
Mark Uhlmann (ABS) (02) 6252 5691 or 0407 107 931

29 November 2005