Federal Government to answer tough questions over census results

The federal government is set to face pressure over whether the findings from last year’s botched census can be trusted.

The full version of the census results will be publicly released today.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics took the census online for the first time last August, to survey Australia’s 24 million population.


The exercise was marred by cyber attacks which prompted the bureau to shut it down for almost two days.

It also resulted in IT company IBM paying out millions of dollars in compensation for its role in the mess.

A Senate inquiry conducted last year concluded the main responsibility for this bungled event lay with the federal government, because of reduced funding for the bureau when demands put on it had increased.

The census questions each household on age, gender, incomes, occupations, dwellings, transportation, ancestry, languages spoken, and religion, to help with future planning for the nation.

Small Business Minister Michael McCormack insists Australians can trust the quality of the census data.

“Thanks to the very high participation rate of Australians in last year’s census, and the (bureau’s) efforts to assure the data through its rigorous quality checks, the census will provide a comprehensive and accurate account of modern Australia,” he said in a statement.