My statement on why I will refuse to provide my name in the Census form, despite the risk of prosecution.
I have decided this morning that I will not be providing my name for this year’s Census due to be completed tomorrow night. I do so in full knowledge that I may face prosecution under the Census and Statistics Act of 1905, and that currently involves a fine of $180 per day that is cumulative for every day of non-compliance. I do not take this step lightly and I do so for the following reasons: First and foremost, privacy matters. Privacy has been described as “an inherent human right and requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect”. Of course the right to privacy must be measured against public interest considerations, national security and public safety being prime examples. But it seems the ABS has failed to make a compelling case why names must be provided, and stored for four years, and unlike any other census in this nation’s history since that first census on the 2nd of April 1911, all names will be turned into a code that ultimately can be used to identify you. Professor Daniel Solove of the George Washington University Law School has articulated ten reasons why privacy matters. It’s a template of concerns – including limits on executive power and respect for individuals. Closer to home, no less than the former chief statistician, the head of the ABS from 1995 – 2000 Bill McLennan, has expressed serious concerns over this Census and its unnecessary intrusion into the privacy of all Australians. I spoke to Mr McLennan last night and am grateful for his outspokenness on this issue. Also in the past week, NSW Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Coombs warned in relation to the census of “a range of risks, not just the misuse” of the information provided. She also pointed out what I fear, that the mandatory requirement for providing your name, and the way it will be stored and used will be completely counter-productive – that it will undermine the very trust that millions of Australians have had in the census – until now. Coombs warned “people may lie on their census forms due to a fear their data may be misused”. So, it seems, rather than being a snapshot of the nation, this census will now morph into a mobile CCTV that follows every Australian. And it has come to this because of a woeful consultation process, that not only lacked transparency, but some would say verged on the disingenuous. I note Natasha Bita’s story this morning where through FOI it has been established the ABS was concerned about a public backlash, and is also looking at the commercial opportunities from selling this information to private companies. It has also come about because the government has either been wilfully clueless or recklessly indifferent to the risk this census poses to our privacy. I understand by refusing to provide my name I will be given a notice under the act to comply and the $180 a day fine starts from then. I will contest any such notice, and by doing so it will in effect turn into a test case of the validity of this request. In any event, in the meantime, I will be seeking amendments to Section 14 of the Act so that a person cannot be prosecuted if they fail to provide their name. In other words it will ensure such information is unambiguously non-compulsory. I will write to both the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, as well as my crossbench colleagues seeking their support for this amendment which of course will need to be made retrospective to Census night. The government should be requesting our consent, rather than requiring our names through coercion. Australians expect the rule of law, not ruled by law. This is a battle worth fighting. It’s not just just because privacy is an inherent human right to maintain the human condition with dignity and respect but also because it seems the ABS, with the support of the Australian Government is about to trash that human right. And the way they’ve done so has been completely undignified and disrespectful to all of us.
Check out the destruction Alan Jones saw as he flew over the Hunter Valley with 7 News Sydney. This is what coal mining will do to our food bowl, the Liverpool Plains. LIKE if you support a ban on all new coal mines.
The paramedic faced with cameras after the Dreamworld tragedy was clearly shaken and used a correct medical term: 'injuries incompatible with living'. This is a common clinical term describing what emergency procedures are deemed appropriate or inappropriate given a patient/victim's condition. It is natural that a professional would try to use professional language like this in the face of something so horrible, and particularly when still in shock himself, by all accounts.
He hasn't done anything wrong. Please, let's not attack professionals doing a very tough job.
"Last week we brought our 6 year old son, River, to the Clarks Village outlet store in Street to be measured for school shoes. Being autistic, he really struggles with crowds, long queues and noisy places. The store was heaving!
I knew there was no way he would cope with that environment so I explained the situation to a member of staff. Without hesitation, Aaran led us away from the noise and crowds to a staff room and placed a Do Not Disturb sign on the door. He was very patient with River, who was anxious, and went and got lots of different shoes for him to try on.
We left with a great pair of shoes, a very happy boy- and Aaran also gave us the store number and said they'd happily book us an appointment before the store opens so that it's quiet. Autism acceptance at it's best!!
Thank you Clarks in Street, and a massive thanks to the shop assistant Aaran Daniel." <3
CHOICE is calling on consumers to boycott bad eggs in light of consumer affairs ministers’ decision to prop up dodgy free-range labelling and continue ripping consumers off up to $43 million a year! http://goo.gl/Pc849I
The new ‘free range’ rules clearly reflect the commercial interests of the big industrialised egg producers, allowing stockings densities up to 10,000 hens per hectare and no requirement that hens actually go outdoors.
Tell consumer affairs ministers that you are boycotting bad eggs at http://goo.gl/Pc849I
Click here for a full list of 19 bad eggs brands: https://goo.gl/1JKwBG
FRANKLIN ST BUS STATION TO REMAIN OPEN AS SHELTER DURING SEVERE WEATHER The Adelaide Central Bus Station, 85 Franklin Street, will remain open all night tonight due to the forecast severe weather conditions. Anyone who needs shelter overnight is welcome to visit the bus station, where they can stay warm, dry and safe. Food and hot drinks will also be available to people who need it.