The 2006 Census identified a number of areas that produced a lower than expected population count. The Census counts from mining camps were much lower than expected, which had a significant impact on the shires/communities providing local services.

The Mining Enumeration Strategy for the 2011 Census was developed to manage all aspects of work involved in improving awareness, participation, correct reporting and operations for the enumeration of mining sites.

The collection of Census data in mining sites is made more difficult by the number and remoteness of some locations and the limited accessibility to sites and to the communities and accommodation camps attached to the sites. The high incidence of a fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workforce and the number of very large-scale resource projects under construction and development, particularly in Western Australia, exacerbated these difficulties.

The key aims for the Mining Enumeration Strategy were to:
  • minimise the undercount by identifying areas which were likely to be undercounted or missed (small exploration camps etc.) during the Census
  • obtain the cooperation of state Mines Departments, local government authorities and mining companies to assist with the identification of camps
  • identify public relations opportunities within mining companies
  • contact all known drilling, surveying, engineering and construction companies, and the companies that support the mining industry, to ascertain if they had workers away on Census Night
  • liaise closely with the Department of Minerals and Energy to obtain up to date information of exploration applications
  • work closely with umbrella organisations, mining companies and other camp operators to achieve a full and accurate count on Census Night.

For more detailed information, please refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: 2011 Census Special Enumeration Strategies (cat. no. 2911.0.55.004) which is expected to be released in August 2012.