What the Census means for consumers05 Aug 11 01:18PM EST |
Census night allows the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
to gather vital data for planning and infrastructure, but plenty of people don’t mind having a joke when filling out their question sheets. After all, according to the 2001 Census there were around 70,000 Jedi
in Australia at the time, but despite Star Wars die-hards, I don’t remember too many people walking around with robes and lightsabers.
While the ABS has no real problem with people listing odd details if they mean it, they do have a clear concern about people not taking the Census seriously. For consumers, the Census can help determine everything from what programs and initiatives are provided to your area to the size of shopping centres and the public transport that is available.
According to the ABS, Arts NSW uses Census data to help determine participation and interest in cultural activities by community groups, including youth organisations, senior citizens, indigenous Australians and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Businesses also use census data to study the economic and social circumstances of population groups.
As you can see, the Census is used in many different that you might not realise, so it’s important to make sure your data counts. Fortunately, there’s also still plenty of ways to have fun with the census. The ABS released Spotlight - a website narrated by Shaun Micallef that is a great way to kill 10 minutes and find out some interesting facts about Census data that relates to you. Anyone interested in Twitter (even if you’re not a regular follower) should have a look at the 2011 Census account, with recent Tweets like:
- Is it the onions? Hoping Australia's 44,553 Chefs and 43,330 Cooks don't cry as much as the MasterChef contestants.
- Is wondering if Peter Andre is classified as one of Australia’s 1007 singers?
- Jedi Knight is not the only creative response to the religion question in the #AusCensus. Moroccan Chicken has also been received.
How do you feel about the Census, and do you think about how your Census data is used?
Telco rage hit tipping point and plenty of people had horror phone bills to share:
Ami said, “believe it or not got a bill for $11500 on a $50 mobile business plan for internet usage...., was horrified that i was not contacted when my plan was only $50.00. Ended up going to the Com Ombudsman..and had the amount waived !!!!”
Helen said, “I received my own "bill shock" when my landline bill came in from Optus and calls that I had been making to a north-western Sydney number, assuming them to be local calls in the Sydney metro area, were billed as "National Calls". Despite looking all over their website I couldn't find a reference to what phone numbers are included and excluded for "Local" and "National" calls.”
But not everyone was angry at their telco:
Cassie said, “My internet is now with iiNet and i've had nothing but brilliant service with them over the past couple of years…”
Clare said, “I have only twice had problems with Telstra and both times the problems were sorted quickly by helpful staff (yes even the ones in the overseas call centre). But I'm not impressed with the way they make minor changes to their call charges for landlines. It might not increase my bill much but multiply that by the number of customers and it's quite a bit of extra revenue.”
Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences. You can leave comments below, or join us on Facebook and Twitter.