POLITICS

#CensusFail Leaves Millions Of Australians Yet To Fill Out Survey

Have we forgotten all about it?

15/08/2016 3:00 PM AEST | Updated 15/08/2016 3:02 PM AEST
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The ABC Chief Statistician is confident more Australians will be jumping online before September.

At least seven million Australians still need to fill out the census by September in order for it to be statistically worthwhile.

In the wake of the 40-hour outage that left many unable to complete their forms online, the ABS remains confident they will still reach their target.

"We are working towards getting as close to 100 per cent as we can ... we can't see any reason why we won't get there, but we need Australians to do their part as we always have needed," Census Program Manager Duncan Young told Sky News.

After going live on Thursday afternoon, the website has been accepting forms at a much reduced rate from census night.

Only four in ten households have now completed the form, according to the ABS.

Chief statistician David Kalisch brought this figure to over three million households on Sunday evening who have completed the form online.

That's one million more than those who were able to complete the form before the website was forcibly crashed by the ABS last Tuesday.

Prime Minister Turnbull has said that forms from 10 million households would be required to make the census statistically significant.

That means at least seven million households must fill in the compulsory survey by September.

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"This has been a failure of the ABS," The Prime Minister said.

"Last time it was around 96 percent of households and 98 percent of people, and that's what we're still pitching it to be," Mr Kalisch said.

"From 2011, we know that we had about two million people that completed the census on or before census night -- that's two million out of a lot of households."

Mr Kalisch acknowledged the ABS had suffered a quell in its reputation.

"I think the community recognises the important information we provide about how the economy is going, how society's going, what are the features of the environment, and they support our work because the know the importance of that information," he told the ABC on Sunday.

The ABS chief statistician has stood firm in his position, saying now is not the time to stand aside.

"My view is that leaders stand up when there are issues," he said.

"They respond and the fix the issues, and there will be a time for the facts to come out and for accountabilities to be made."

An investigation into the incident has been launched by an 'angry' Prime Minister Turnbull, while Labor turns up the heat on Coalition MP's to front a senate inquiry.

As the Government kick-starts a heavy communication campaign to garner the population, we can expect a lot more of this:

Australians have until September 23 to -- remember to -- fill out the survey online. Paper forms are available and must be completed by September 18.

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