Tomorrow night is census test night, Aug 2004

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Tomorrow night is census test night

All households in Beechworth and Yackandandah townships are being asked to fill out their census test form tomorrow night to help the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) prepare for the next national Census.

The community's desire to help the ABS test new procedures has been marvellous according to Vince Lazzaro, ABS Regional Director Victoria.

"Beechworth and Yackandandah residents have really got behind the test, our census collectors have told us people understand the importance of the census and have been exceedingly supportive," said Vince.

"We're grateful for the community's willingness to help us test our new processes to get everything right before the next national headcount in 2006.

"Tomorrow night is census test night so we'd like to remind everyone to fill out their paper or Internet form."

Householders who live in the township of Beechworth or Yackandandah and who don't have their census form can contact the Census Test Inquiry Service on 1800 090 353.

A census collector, with official identification, will return to households to pick up completed paper forms over a two week period starting from this Wednesday.

One of the new elements the ABS is testing is the use of an Internet form instead of the traditional paper census form. The ABS encourages all householders who indicated they were going to use this option to do so.

"This test will give us an indication of how likely regional Australia will take-up an Internet option. It is also a good test of our collection procedures as a collector wont need to return to pick up a paper form if a household has completed an Internet form for everyone.

"What we learn from this test will be immediately fed back to improve the ease of filling out a form over the Internet and to improve computing systems so that the 2006 national Census of Population and Housing runs smoothly."

The ABS will use information collected to test new processing systems, after processing all personal information will be destroyed. The ABS will ensure the confidentiality of individual's responses are maintained and has a legal responsibility to do this.

This media release was issued on August 9, 2004 and placed on the ABS web site on August 10, 2004.