Over the past week my offices have received enquiries about the upcoming 2016 Census.
It is compulsory for everyone to complete the Census as it provides important information about Australia’s people and their housing as well as helping to estimate Australia’s population. This information is then used to distribute government funds and plan services for our community.
Over the coming days, most households will receive a letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) providing two options for completing the Census: online or using a paper form.
If you would like to complete the Census online, you need to keep your letter from the ABS that includes a unique Census Login and instructions on how to complete the Census online.
Alternatively, you can complete the Census on a paper form. Some households will also receive a paper form with their letter from the ABS. If you do not receive a paper form and would like one sent to your household, you can request this through a dedicated paper form request line. Information about this request line is contained in the letter from the ABS. Each paper form will be delivered with a reply paid envelope.
Reminder letters will be sent to every household that hasn’t responded to the Census, followed by a visit from Census Field Officers to ensure that every household is counted.
Field staff will visit households after 26 August 2016 if they haven’t submitted a Census form.
Field staff will also ensure that people staying in hospitals, hotels and motels, camping or travelling around Australia on Census night on Tuesday 9 August 2016 are included.
For further information, please visit census.abs.gov.au or call the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 214 531.
Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems of the Northern Territory
Like most Australians last week, I was very disturbed by the images aired on ABC’s Four Corners programme of mistreatment of children at the detention centre in the Northern Territory.
Consequently I was very pleased when the Governor-General issued Letters Patent to establish a Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems of the Northern Territory and appointed the Hon Brian Ross Martin AO QC, a former Chief Justice of the Northern Territory, as Royal Commissioner.
It is important to note that the Royal Commission is independent from government and is responsible for determining its own processes, and is free to investigate any matter that falls within its Terms of Reference.
The Royal Commission is due to report by 31 March 2017.
DonateLife Week is Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation and is led by the Organ and Tissue Authority.
I would like to encourage all residents to put their good intentions about organ donation into effect by registering and sharing their decision online during DonateLife Week 2016 (Sunday 31 July to Sunday 7 August).
The majority of Australians support organ and tissue donation with 69 per cent of Australians saying they are willing to become organ and tissue donors, yet only 33 per cent of adults have joined the national register. Many people have not registered because they either haven’t made time or are unsure about how to register.
During DonateLife Week this year, residents are being asked to make the time to register online and to share their decision with family and friends. Registration is important because it leaves your family in no doubt of your decision to save lives.
Increasing rates of organ donation enabled a record 707 Australians to receive lifesaving transplants in the first six months of this year. A new annual record was also set in 2015, of 1,241 organ recipients.
Currently around 1,500 Australians are waiting for a lifesaving transplant, with a further 12,000 people on dialysis waiting for a new kidney.
If you’re willing to one day save lives as a donor, make sure you join the Australian Organ Donor Register and share your decision with loved ones.
To register online to save lives visit donatelife.gov.au