Let’s get up on the skinny on this whole Census dealio. Regardless of whether you reckon the privacy issues were a real problem or not, it’s obvious that the Australian Bureau of Statistics – a previously very respected organisation – absolutely cocked this one up.
Firstly, they stubbornly refused to do any public relations work to explain to the public the meaning and ramifications of the changes, which require citizens to supply their name alongside their submission. Secondly, they clearly – as Dan Nolan writes at The Guardian – did foresee some very, very easy-to-identify issues that would come with a big online launch like this.
So the ABS have fucked up, and the ministers responsible have also fucked up. Malcolm Turnbull has said there will be “serious consequences” for the technological failure, which has left many people unable to submit their census all the way through ’til this morning.
“There is time for a review and an inquiry. There are lots of people out there trying to find out who’s to blame and which heads should roll and so forth,” he told 2GB.
Both Bill Shorten and Nick Xenophon have called for a Senate inquiry into the absolute disaster that has been this Census.
We should be pissed about this: the Census is an essential part of social democracy, and is so, so important to the proper delivery of services. That’s been absolutely pissed on by basically everyone along the chain here, eroding the public’s faith in an important institution and providing no visible reasons for doing so.
Photo: Getty Images.