Mark J Terrill

Supermum counting the Census fails

Gold Medal in Rugby 7's: Australia take the first ever Olympic Gold for Women's Rugby 7's.

To keep us entertained while we kept trying my teenage son was sprouting off statistics from the last Census. I asked how he knew it all. He said it was from listening in Geography. Not according to his last report card, but I let him continue.

It still wasn't loading so we watched some of the Olympics highlights. I've made it clear I have no interest in watching sport, but I'm happy to join in the counting of medals.

However watching the highlights of the Aussie girls play against Canada and then New Zealand in the Women's Rugby Sevens was pretty exciting. My son was proud to see me watching the footy.

When we finally logged on to the Census website there were cheers all around. It was the equivalent of winning gold... and then having that medal taken away because they have contested the results.

We got to log on, then we got our new password and then we got error message after error message. Then we were back in medal contention as we navigated our way through the forms, occasionally getting red carded for a few errors.

Looking at what friends on Facebook were saying, there were a few issues in other households. Some had not received their codes in the mail. Others fear they threw it out. And others were concerned about some of the questions.

Working out where we lived five years ago was one thing for us. For others it was about marital status (what's with no option to select de facto?) or religion. I had to wonder who really knows their ancestry any more. I had a guess at mine.

All in all we spent about an hour, trying to access the site then filling in the form; and then it happened..... the error message to end all error messages as we pressed the submit button.

"Your request could not be completed as a problem was encountered." Yes, ABS a problem was encountered.

We couldn't even select the save and exit option.

To top off the night we got a 'your connection has timed out' message.

So we have come to the consensus that the census is .......! (error code 101)

The 2016 Census will see the ABS adopt a digital-first approach.
The 2016 Census will see the ABS adopt a digital-first approach. Contributed