Risking prosecution, Nick Xenophon boycotts census name requirement

Fergus Hunter
August 8 2016
Censeless Form

Senate powerbroker Nick Xenophon has declared he will refuse to provide his name on the 2016 census form this week amid privacy concerns and criticisms of recent changes made to the nationwide survey.

As well as volunteering himself as a legal test case, the South Australian senator – now with two party colleagues in the upper house and one in the House of Representatives – foreshadowed amendments to the relevant legislation.

This year, as well as being completed online, the census will retain people’s names and addresses for four years rather than 18 months.

Senator Xenophon has joined a chorus of critical voices, including a former head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, condemning the “unnecessary intrusion” and violation of the “inherent human right” to privacy.

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“It seems the ABS, with the support of the Australian government, is about to trash that human right. And the way they’ve done so has been completely undignified and disrespectful to all Australians,” he said.

“I think the government and the Bureau of Statistics can simply say we won’t require names be mandatory. It will be voluntary, it won’t be a matter for coercion.”

The ABS has defended this year’s census, insisting names are critical to ensuring accuracy and that there are “extremely robust safeguards in place to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the information collected”.

Senator Xenophon contended there is a risk that information could be misused and that the mandatory requirements could “undermine the very trust that millions of Australians have hadin the census until now”, causing them to lie on the form.

Nick Xenophon will risk prosecution as a test case by boycotting the census name requirement.
Nick Xenophon will risk prosecution as a test case by boycotting the census name requirement. Photo: David Mariuz

While not explicitly encouraging others to follow his lead – as “that in itself would be a criminal offence” – he pushed the envelope.

“I warn people of the consequences of not completing the census in that they face a potential fine that could be financially crippling. Better to have a test case.

“But I postulate, and this is in no way encouraging people to not comply with the directions of the census, but I postulate that, if enough people didn’t provide their names, then it becomes a logistical nightmare for the ABS to prosecute all those people.”

The experienced political negotiator also said he would be seeking support from the major parties and crossbenchers for retrospective legislation to the Census and Statistics Act, removing the name requirement.

As well as former ABS chief Bill McLennan, the NSW Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Coombs and the Australian Privacy Foundation have expressed concerns.

Posted on August 8, 2016, in ConspiracyOz Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The ‘Censeless’ Form – Mick Raven


  2. I don’t blame him, who can you trust these days – Mick Raven

    On April 12, 1933, the German government announced plans to conduct a long-delayed national census.[10] The project was particularly important to the Nazis as a mechanism for the identification of Jews, Gypsies, and other ethnic groups deemed undesirable by the regime. Dehomag offered to assist the German government in its task of ethnic identification, concentrating upon the 41 million residents of Prussia.[11] This activity was not only countenanced by Thomas Watson and IBM in America, Black argues, but was actively encouraged and financially supported, with Watson himself traveling to Germany in October 1933 and the company ramping up its investment in its German subsidiary from 400,000 to 7,000,000 Reichsmark—about $1 million.[12] This injection of American capital allowed Dehomag to purchase land in Berlin and to construct IBM’s first factory in Germany, Black charges, thereby “tooling up for what it correctly saw as a massive financial relationship with the Hitler regime.”



  3. As many had predicted, the census website has been hacked. The same clowns that assured the public that the website was safe are the same clowns assuring the public that no personal information was stolen.



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