Last night around 5:00 pm Sydney time, the website abs.gov.au stopped responding and the phone lines were down because millions of people who are living, working and studying in Australia were trying to submit their Census form before its due date.
And at 8:00 pm, the website completely crashed because it was overloaded. The system breakdown had left behind numbers of confused and terrified living inhabitants, and the census issue was all over social media platforms last night across Australia with the hashtag #censusfail. Some international students gave up after continually logging and refreshing the Internet server and seeking friends’ assistance.
So is there a fine after all?
After acknowledging the problem, the Census Australia Facebook page has continuously updated their situation and announced “There will be no penalties for completing the Census after August 9. There’s still plenty of time to complete the Census.”
According to Chris Libreri, general manager of the Census and Statistical Network division from news.com.au: “No one has ever been fined for being late with their Census form, the fines are only if you eyes-open refuse to a Census collector.”
ABS has informed people that the final date for completing the Census form is 23rd September 2016. So there is still plenty of time to fill in your accurate information and submit it without a 180 AUD per day fine.
What if I accidentally threw the letter in the bin or I haven’t received the form or the code?
1/ A Census collector could knock on your door to ask you to complete the form.
2/You can contact the Census Inquiry Service 1300 214 531 (you might have to wait another two days for a call back)
3/ You can revisit the website to order the form and code online
If you would like help filling out the form, give the Translation and Interpreter Service a call on 131 450.
What exactly is the Census?
It is a legal form that must be completed by every individual living in Australia on the night. The information collected creates an extensive database of details such as marriage status, religion (the only question that is optional), racial background and income. This helps determine where taxpayer money will be best spent – in health, transport and infrastructure, education and so on.