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Australian Census and Atheism.

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Well, I didn't panic ... but I didn't get it done, either.  I was writing in some details and I was informed that there was a problem.  Need I say more on that subject!!


However, I think they could have cut out half the questions and made everyone's life easier and maybe put less pressure on their servers. Their linking will determine employment history, employer, income etc through the ATO so those questions were really unnecessary .. and nosy IMO.  :ph34r:

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I think that's a simplistic view...


I don't know why people are hesitant or suspicious about the census. The questions are really minimal, I ask far more searching questions of all sorts of people in my work every week.


And the ATO information, if it's available, wouldn't give details of dwelling or family situations. What  you have to appreciate is that there are things that the ATO cannot divulge, even to other departments.


As an example of how it works, at the moment the Commonwealth Department of Health is conducting its regular (once every three years) National Drugs Strategy Household Survey. This looks at alcohol, tobacco, prescription drug, other medicinal drug and illegal drug use.


It is illegal for any information divulged by those surveyed to be used to prosecute them. If someone reveals they use cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines or anything else the information cannot be used by police or anyone else, that is a provision of the act governing the survey.


Like the census, the purpose is to get a snapshot of changes in the use of these things, giving the government indications of where resources can best be used to advantage. Through this survey, for instance, the reduction in tobacco use in Australia can clearly be seen, that the reduction is greater in cities than in country towns and that fewer young people are taking up smoking. I expect that this one will reflect the increase in the use of 'ice' and where it affects more people.


As for the census I guess I'm a bit lucky as I did it on paper. The paper form arrived on my back verandah when I wasn't home, we filled it in and now we'll return it. Our names are on it, income details and living arrangements are all recorded.

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I also agree, the census collect no more detailed info that is collected when you apply for Centrelink payments, and with them you are giving your bank details.  We also give a heap of info when we apply for bank products, a new phone, and all purchases online. Really, it's laughable that we have any real 'privacy' left at all!


What I don't like is the misinformation that goes with explaining when something stuffs up. Overload of servers was going to be a distinct possibility. If you better informed people that this may happen, and let them know not to worry because you've got til mid Sept to fill it out, then life would be a lot easier. Instead the bureau left people locked out, hacker stories were circulating, and headline-grabbing privacy issues by rogue senators turned this political and messy.


Five years ago, people must have had other things to quibble over. Didn't seem like such a big deal.

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