Returned and Services League Tasmania

RSL Tasmania State President Media Release – Census 2016


CENSUS 2016: RSL Tasmania calls on ABS to implement changes to new regulations

On Monday the 1st August RSL Tasmania State President Robert Dick expressed concerns on the compulsory collection and proposed retention of names and address in the upcoming Census. RSL Tasmania acknowledges the Census itself is an important and valuable tool for the collection and storage of statistical data, usage of names and addresses to link other data raises a number of unintended privacy and security consequences which should be of relevance and concern to all Australians, particularly, all with protected identities.

RSL Tasmania further researched into its concerns which highlighted deficiencies in the consideration process; it became clear that major stakeholders were not consulted prior to new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) regulations went into effect for the 2016 Census. Stakeholders such as Defence, privacy groups, legal experts, data security experts and Ex-Service Organisations were left to find out about these matters at the same time as the public. Insufficient time has been given to raise concerns or fully examine potential privacy issues and unintended consequences of the new ABS regulations as it relates to Census 2016.

“It is my belief that until the ramifications of the “regulation” change are fully examined, the census should proceed subject to the following three recommendations:

  1. Name and address on paper forms can be withheld;
  2. Aliases can be used on the on-line forms; and
  3. No prosecutions can be imposed for adherence to the recommendations at 1 and 2 above.”

said RSL Tasmania President Robert Dick on Monday August 8, 2016.

Contact Details:

RSL Tasmania

206 New Town Rd

Telephone: 03 6242 8900
Facsimile: 03 6242 8911