The Labor party voted with the Coalition to let the government off the hook for the spectacular failure of the National Census, the Australian Greens said today.
“The Greens and most of the crossbench agreed that the governments incompetence and inability to properly conduct the census is not an acceptable reason to expose ordinary Australians to fines of $180 per day,” Australian Greens Communication Spokesperson and Co-Deputy Leader Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
“Thousands of people attempted to complete the census on census night and during the days that followed, and were unable to. Many people, already concerned about the changes to the census that were snuck through by the government and the ABS, lost any confidence they had left in the process.
“We’ve received numerous reports of aggressive census collectors, and collectors giving residents incorrect information. Even worse, many people that have already completed the census have been harassed by census collectors.
“Almost 1 in 5 households have not completed the census, and nothing the government has done has given those people any confidence that their information will be managed appropriately.
“That the Labor party are siding with this incompetent government, and not with the people facing fines due to that incompetence, is disappointing, though unfortunately not surprising,” Senator Ludlam concluded.