Some of the Fraser Coast's Census field officers: Jenni Goldsworthy, Jake MacDonald (back), Joey Nafterl (front) and Janet Smith.
Some of the Fraser Coast's Census field officers: Jenni Goldsworthy, Jake MacDonald (back), Joey Nafterl (front) and Janet Smith. Matthew McInerney

Why a Census worker could soon be at your door

FRASER Coast residents will soon be visited one of 200 Census field officers.

They are part of what is described as the "country's largest ever peacetime logistical operation”: a legion of 38,000 people temporarily contracted to help complete Australia's biggest demographic survey.

Queensland Census Director Caroline Deans said the model was changed for this year's Census, a debacle highlighted when millions of Australians were prevented from accessing the website after it was taken down.

Ms Deans said households could expect to receive a follow-up letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics with their login information, and field officers would soon flood the streets to offer assistance.

"In the regional centres we will resend the codes or residents can request a paper form,” Ms Deans.

"The field officers go door to door outside these centres and can answer questions residents may have.”

Ms Deans said the Census was important a vast array of reasons, but it mostly stemmed from the impact the data can have on governmental decision-making.

"There are a lot of benefits. Regional centres benefit directly in regards to funding, GST revenue is based on population estimates (which is sourced from Census data).

"Council would be keen to have the correct number of people in their region counted.

"The second major reason is characterisation of the residents.

"How old they are, what genders, what languages they speak - planners can decide what a region needs based off this information.”

Field officers have already been on the streets for the last week and a half and Ms Deans said most reports were positive.

"In the main, people have shared a joke about it and have greeted our field officers warmly,” she said.

"We haven't heard of any incidents of hostility yet and I hope as more go out they will also be accepted warmly.”

Ms Deans stressed it was important to complete the Census as if it was Tuesday, August 9, to ensure the data's accuracy.



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