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Australian Census snubs riders – yet again

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by midnight, May 2, 2016.

  1. This doesn't surprise me at all . Australian Census snubs riders

    Riders left on the fence again

    The 2011 Australian Census snubbed motorcycles, causing outrage among riders, yet the new 2016 Census questionnaire is virtually unchanged and still snubs motorcycles.

    On Census Night, August 9, 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will count close to 10 million dwellings and about 24 million people in Australia. However, the information will totally neglect motorcycles and scooters which will mean we are not included in a wide range of decisions, government policies and infrastructure planning that is based on these important figures. This also happened in 2011 when Question 54 asked how many registered motor vehicles, owned or used by the household were garaged or parked nearby, but did not include motorcycles and scooters.

    That is despite the fact that motorcycles are the fastest-growing form of transport. Motorcycle registrations have increased by 22.3% in the past five years, or 4.3% annually, according to the ABS Motor Vehicle Census. While the ABS is moving with the times and will for the first time allow the form to be filled out online (they expect 80% to do it that way), they have chosen to ignore their own figures and excluded motorcycles and scooters from the survey, according to our sources. Australian Motorcycle Council secretary, VicRoads Motorcycle Advisory Group member and Ulysses National Road Safety Committee member Tony Ellis says he’s not surprised.

    “We’ve been trying to get motorcycles counted for many years. We have correspondence about this going back over 10 years. I remember a long telephone conversation with the responsible person at ABS back in 2002 about this,” he says.

    “We keep getting told that the ABS is under-resourced and they can’t add any more questions.”

    Ride to work on Census day?

    In fact, the motorcycle question was included in 2001 and deleted in 2006 and subsequently left out in 2011.

    Tony sarcastically suggests motorcycle riders take their bike to work on census day so it is included as their means of transport.

    “Of course we’d never suggest that riders lie about their means of transport,” he says with a wink.

    “And we really couldn’t countenance that people email the ABS Executive officer at cassandra.gligora@abs.gov.au to complain about this omission and the fact that without realistic figures it makes research and planning very difficult.”

    Motorcycle Riders’ Association of Queensland president Chris Mearns says the MRAQ is “extremely disappointed”.

    MRAQ president Chris Mearns

    “With the number of registered motorcycles Australia wide now rapidly approaching one million and having the largest percentage increase of any vehicle group year on year for a considerable period, to miss the opportunity to include this vehicle class in the Census can only be viewed as a major flaw. It is critical for better infrastructure planning and design to ensure that a good understanding of the total road use fleet be gained. The lack of inclusion of two-wheel-powered vehicles in many planning information sources needs to to addressed. The lack of good statistical data on this class of vehicle continually hinders attempts at informed debate in matters pertaining to it and hence often leads to both ignorance of issues that need to be addressed and on occasions the group being completely ignored,” he says.
  2. They ask your religion. Put down motorcyclist
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  3. Didn't the powers that be put a stop to people putting down "Jedi" as their religion a few census's ago? Motorcyclist is a much better option :)
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  4. No they can't include motorcycles as a separate vehicle because to view a motorcycle differently than a Range Rover Sport would mean that there would be some cause to have a look at the pricing on toll roads.

    In UK last time I was there motorcyclists don't pay tolls (resident limeys confirm?) Ridiculous that a motorcycle rips up as much road as a Range Rover but we pay the same.
  5. In your state maybe, but tolls for bikes are less than car tolls here.
    I agree that it should be free though. No wear and tear to a road surface due to a bike!
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  6. A motorcycle IS a motor vehicle.
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  7. The answer is put down any answer you like to any question. Hell, screw with the census questions and answers all you like.

    You know there is only 2 things that will ever come out of a census....

    Bureaucrats and public servants will ignore the data because they know best anyway, and so long as their jobs and perks are safe they'll do what ever they like.

    Politicians will use the data to screw you over in new and more imaginative ways, again.
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  8. I see the value of the census but I'm inclined to be less than honest this year, as, for the first time in AU, they're retaining the data with your name and address. It's not anonymised anymore. Having worked with Govt departments I know their information access control is always woeful with too many people having unrestricted access to too much data with inadequate audit trails.

    The problem is, this year, it is also electronic/online. So you may not be able to not answer questions or it won't let you submit. Hence the only way out would be to give false answers.
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  9. Was going to say the same thing.
  10. Do the paper one, making sure you use red crayon to fill it in....as an aside, the last thing you want them to know is that you have internet access......
  11. draw a few d*cks on there also (not the quacking kind)
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  12. Just found this:

    ABS responds to incorrect assertions in AFR story about Census

    The headline of the Australian Financial Review article, “Census no longer anonymous”, published on 10 March 2016, is false.

    but then...

    What will change is the retention of names and addresses to make the Census even more valuable.

    I'm more confused than ever. It's anonymous, but some how the retention of names and addresses will make the census even more valuable? How is that supposed to work?

    Maybe it's a good thing that they're not asking questions about motorcycles. I mean, what if hypothetically I was secretly a scooter owner and I've been covering this up. A non-anonymous census asking such questions could have me exposed and my secret identity revealed!
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  13. I would but I simply can't deny the one true faith, Pastafarianism. I will just have to intercede with the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the sure and certain hope that the ABS be touched by His enlightening Noodly Appendage and moved to respect all religions and road users equally.
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  14. Well you have a hard time getting Scotsmen to pay road tolls anyway. :)

  15. [​IMG]
    That sounds like a great big, noisome, festering, maggot ridden, flyblown, steaming pile of BS IMHO. For the names and addresses to be stored to make the census more valuable, but never recombined with any census data ? Bollocks. The whole point of databases, especially if you are cross referencing between them, is to have unique indentifiers or keys that allow meaningful connections to be made. If they're keeping the names and addresses but not linking them to the data, then the names and addresses have no more value than a copy of the White pages or the electoral role.
    There is going to to be an indexing field to link the data or you cannot cross reference with Medicare, Centrelink etc. Even if it's kept in a separate table structure, there will be a relational link that allows the tables to be cross referenced.
    Their statement is inherently contradictory and if there are any database programmers here, perhaps they might confirm my suspicions.
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  16. Yup pretty much, unless they randomise the data entry for the names. If they put in census sheet #1 into table #1 for the data and census name #1 into table #1 for the names then you have a relationship purely based on the order of input.
  17. Not a DBA as such, but did do it at uni. Your assertion sounds pretty reasonable to me.
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  18. #18 MrData, May 3, 2016
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
    Confirmed mate. I work in Business Intelligence (oxymoron I know) which is all about using data to make businesses more productive, reduce costs, yadiyada.

    The only way the census data is made more valuable by retaining your name and address is by cross referencing to other data the government owns with the same information. Say... Medicare. Or Centrelink.

    Even if they don't have any use or intention to use that data to identify you here and now, your responses can be linked to other data the government has about you in future if your name and address are retained.

    Based on my experience, you can get an eerily accurate picture of a person's behaviour using this sort of data linked with other information. I'm personally not comfortable with the idea.

    Not to mention it's probable that hidden in the fine print is that the government can sell or provide that data to affiliated third parties. Say to large retailers who wish to better target marketing for your specific needs. Innocuous enough, but then someone else has a clearer picture of you which can be linked with loyalty program data, as an example.
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  19. Boycott the ABS
  20. I got a letter in the mail last month. It said our household had been selected for a monthly 6 month sensus. I ignored it. But then an ABS person rocked up and said it was mandatory that we fill it out. I thought it was BS, but I looked it up. As far as I can tell, in 2006 they made it mandatory to participate if selected or you would face a fine...

    I don't have to give my name, but it's a bit much to face a fine if you fail to participate for 6 months, and if you are found to have lied, you also face prosecution!
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