Zero tolerance: ABS threatens two million households with fines after bungled Census

 

If you have not completed your Census form, you can expect a knock on the door this week.

The Bureau of Statistics ids targeting millions of households that have not returned the national survey, telling 7 News it will have zero tolerance for non-compliance.

It says you will be fined.

The Census was bungled so badly it trended online in August but now the Census saga is nearly over.

“People have this weekend to get in their paper forms, and they have until next Friday to get in their online forms,” Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said.

“Anyone who willingly participates in the Census will not be fined.”

With the clock ticking, two million Australian households are yet to complete their Census, well shy of the 96 per cent completion rate in 2011.

With privacy concern and the Census night debacle pushing the online participation rate below the expected level of 65 per cent.

The Bureau of Statistics will this week deploy staff to doorknock areas with significant non-compliance problems.

“Having the outline site off for a while has meant that more people complete on paper,” Census Program Manager Duncan Young said.

“We will be knocking on doors to make sure they have all the material they need to make sure they understand that the Census is compulsory.”

Despit the false start, the Federal Government is refusing to waive penalties for Census forms that are incomplete or late.

Both the Coalition and Labor voted against a Senate Bill to prevent Australians being fined $180 a day for non-compliance.

The ABS is adamant the quality of data has not been compromised.

A review of what went wrong on Census night will be handed down by the end of the month.

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