THE Federal Government urgently needs to reassure the community it will get paper Census forms if they do not do the Census on line, according to Mandurah MLA David Templeman.
Census night is next Tuesday, August 9, and returning the Census is compulsory.
“But the stingy Federal Government has cut Census-takers jobs to try to save money,’’ Mr Templeman said.
“We are all supposed to do it online rather than on paper forms. This isn’t the way it should work; this is bad planning and it’s leaving many people fearful.
“Seniors in particular have been calling my office because they know the Census is Tuesday but they also know that paper forms are not being generally circulated this year.
“People have got a letter from the Australian Government saying they should do the return online but many people don’t use computers so the letter tells them to ring a 1300 number and get a paper former sent.
“The trouble is the 1300 number is so busy there’s just a recorded message saying ring back later; that’s not a free call number, so people are paying local call costs again and again for nothing.”
Mr Templeman said people were worried they would not get a form and would cop a $180 fine for every day until the form is returned.
“I’m afraid some people may have accidentally thrown their letter out as it is not personally addressed, only to The Resident.
“I’ve been advised by census staff that everybody who doesn’t lodge the return online will get a paper form as a matter of course.
“They don’t need to ring.”