Senator Nick Xenophon risks jail over his Census concerns

There are likely going to be a number of Australians not taking part in tonight’s Census, but one name guaranteed

There are likely going to be a number of Australians not taking part in tonight’s Census, but one name guaranteed not to be on any Census form is South Australian senator Nick Xenophon’s.

The crossbench senator has declared he is willing to risk the $180 per day fine and prosecution for non-compliance, declaring on social media that he won’t be putting his name on the Census form.

He has openly challenged the Australian Bureau of Statistics on the issue of privacy in the last week, and wrote on his Facebook page that the Government should be requesting the public’s consent before recording personal information from the Census data, calling it a “battle worth fighting”.

“It’s not just because privacy is an inherent human right to maintain the human condition with dignity and respect, but also because it seems the ABS with the support of the Australian Government is about to trash that human right,” Xenophon says.

“The way they’ve done so has been completely undignified and disrespectful to all of us.”

It is said to be the first time in its 115-year history that the Census will ask all households to complete the survey online.

Xenophon argues that the Census will “morph into a mobile CCTV that follows every Australian”.

He says he will contest the $180 per day fine and demands changes to the laws so that you cannot be fined for failing to provide your name while completing the Census.

Xenophon’s post has garnered more than 1,500 comments, many of which are in support of the senator’s stance.

However, others slammed the politician for ‘grandstanding’ and ‘fear mongering’.

What do you think? Are you concerned about your personal information being recorded for the Census? Or is Nick Xenophon making an issue out of nothing?

  1. Roy Bridges  

    They who said would protect your privacy are they the same people who said all would work well a lot of people cannot transmitted it. Wish had not put my name on it ,now they say you have a couple of weeks to do what about the last few days when they threaten a $180 fine if not done tonight. Maybe they should be fined or sacked for this stuff up.
    Interesting Our PM sent our a message he has done his was he telling the truth because at the same time the system was down.?. Maybe other one of his unturths bet Bill didn’t have a problem either .

  2. Louis  

    Nick has just lost my support. How stupid.

    • Why, he is standing up for what he believes in, which is obviously more than you do. Just stick your head in the sand and go along with the mindless majority.

  3. Jemma  

    If the Govt really wanted they could find all the data for the questions asked. They know where we work, and how much we earn, if they analysed the data from GoCards they will know how many people used public transport…Is there really a question of privacy? The question about how much housework everyone did maybe the only one they dont know the answer to. I think the scary part is just that all the information would be in one place!

  4. Nathan Banks  

    Great read I agree with your comments.

  5. Ian  

    The issue of big brother watching is one that won’t go away – the material that many places have on each one of us now is overwhelming, and it’s not just the government but private companies as well such as Facebook and Google. Are any of these more trustworthy than the other? We are in a digital information age so the information kept about us will only increase whether we like it or not, however I think it is good that there are some politicians and people of influence who are trying to keep ‘big brother’ honest and attempt to stop it getting out of hand. As soon as no-one tries then the flood gates really will open in respect to lack of privacy. I say good luck and well done!

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