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 on Tuesday.
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.
We were told this morning on the ABC by a demographer from ANU that while their were computer issues on the night of the census the ABS had put a lot of follow up effort into ensuring the data was of good quality, and that the data could indeed be trusted. Why does the Echo believe it is better qualified than a professor from Australia’s most highly regarded school of demography such that it can proclaim the census was “bungled”? Is appealing to that noisy sector of the Northern Rivers population that whose views are shaped by a mistrust of any data more important than telling us what the census tells us about our region?