Census 2021 consultation – call for topic suggestions

Glenn - The Census Expert

Glenn is an ABS data expert with huge intellect and capacity to convert demographic data into profound insights about places. He has contributed numerous blogs and consulting projects covering economic development, housing consumption and affordability, migration, fertility, ageing, role and function of ‘place’, communities of interest and more. Glenn works with over 120 councils bringing the client perspective into the development of our information products. He is a Census data expert, having worked at the Australian Bureau of Statistics for 10 years. If there's anything Glenn doesn't know about the Census, it's probably not worth knowing - so ask Glenn!

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11 Responses

  1. Barry says:

    Despite any alleged advantages, I am opposed to a wider census net. There is already too much intrusive government in our lives.
    Government is composed of fallible human beings subject to the same weaknesses and temptations as the rest of us. Ask those who have been thro’ the trauma of living under extremes such as Nazi or Communist regimes.
    The real need is for government to be limited and focused on its responsibilities. It’s called the principle of ‘subsidiary function’.

  2. A measure around Mental Health AOD related issues would be a metric of particular concern to me.

  3. Mental Health & AOD related issues is of interest to me.

  4. Paul Campbell says:

    What percentage of household income (before tax) is spent on rent or mortgage?

  5. Graham Jolly says:

    The survey should include dwellings vacant on the day. Water, gas & electricity usages as per the last account received. How many phones and types used in the house including Internet. The name of the closest public hospital from the residents & estimated distance. The number of land holdings with no building. Type of heating in the dwelling. Type of fuel used in any vehicle used by the house hold. Has the dwelling solar, wind or other used at the dwelling. Rates paid totally to a shire council by each town.

  6. Dianne says:

    Journey to education is important and should be included in Census. while providers may know where students live they do not know how they get there. Identifying transport allows providers to negotiate with public transport about demand e.g. buses on new routes.
    It also means training can be structured to meet transport timetables eg classes need to finish by 3.15 to accommodate those catching trains.
    it informs transport infrastructure about the use of transport by student cohorts.

  7. Ann Burgess says:

    Hi Glenn and Lailani. You may already collect data on the number of people who volunteer, if you don’t please collect volunteering data. In 2012, Flinders University estimated the number of volunteers and assigned a $ benefit to the community of $290 billion. The challenge will be the type of volunteering that is done and where. If a person volunteers for a community agency such as a local op shop, that is recorded and agencies like mine that find and place volunteers keep that data. But I suspect that thousands of hours are not being recorded for the informal volunteering that occurs in a community. For example, many people “help out” at local sports clubs but don’t see that as volunteering and that never gets recorded. As a result, volunteering is under reported and seen by governments as largely irrelevant and this gives them permission to not properly fund a service that is vital to communities. The Department of Social Services has indicated that it will not fund volunteering agencies beyond 2021. At South East Volunteers, we have been promoting the Volunteering Australia definition that states that any time given to a community or activity is volunteering. So it would be useful to ask if people volunteer formally or “help out” and record that as volunteering too.

  8. Claire Galvin says:

    Working in the disability inclusion / access space, I have found the Census data next to useless… It doesn’t tell us anything about the particular disability, or more relevant, access needs of residents. “Assistance with daily living” is incredibly ambiguous, and my recollection (this may be hazy though!) from last census was that it didn’t make clear different age categories: my four year old requires “assistance with daily living”, but his needs are vastly different to my 21 year old niece who uses a wheelchair and cannot communicate verbally. There is MUCH that could be asked that would be more helpful about providing place-based information about access and service needs. Eligibility for NDIS could be asked, but does Census not want to be referencing government programs etc that may be altered / changed…?

  9. Daniel says:

    Journey to work data, specifically referring to actual time of travel, real time.

    Also when people leave their LGA where are they travelling to go to work and what industry they are working in.

  10. Ronald JONES says:

    What is the most important thing in each adult household member’s life at this moment? And what can the government do to help sustain it?

  11. Jane Elton says:

    Transport data, for all journeys. We need to understand who is walking, cycling and catching public transport for their journeys, or multimodal travel. This will help us understand spatial patterns of active transport or car dependency, which will help inform infrastructure and transport planning. It would also be useful for planning to understand how people participate in physical activity.

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