Media Release: Government Play Politics with Census
10.15am | October 25, 2019
STEPHEN JONES MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR WHITLAM
SHADOW CABINET SECRETARY
SENATOR FOR NSW
GOVERNMENT PLAY POLITICS WITH CENSUS
This morning under questioning by Senator McAllister, the ABS has admitted that they scrapped proposed new questions about gender and sexuality from a census trial this year after an intervention from Minister Sukkar’s office.
The Census provides essential information that helps government and private organisations deliver services. The Australian 2021 Census will be our largest national data gathering exercise ever.
Recently a number of major health organisations outlined their support for the appropriate and meaningful collection of data on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status of Australian population in the 2021 Census.
All Australians deserve to be counted in the Census.
Quotes attributable Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones:
“In September I wrote to Michael Sukkar to request that the Government work collaboratively with the parliament on the Census”
“LGBTI Australians have been ignored in Australian policy planning for too long”
“Australians should feel let down that their Government are more interested in playing politics than doing the job Australians expect and deserve”.
“Even after years of progress, there are still significant health and wellbeing disparities that affect Australia’s LGBTI community”
Quotes attributed to Senator Jenny McAllister, Shadow Cabinet Secretary:
“It is clear from evidence provided today by ABS that Minister Sukkar’s office interfered to exclude questions on gender and sexuality from the census form. The key question remaining is why.
“The Minister’s preference to exclude questions on sexual orientation and gender identity means that LGBTI Australians remain ‘unseen.’”
“This may just be a culture war issue for the government, but it has real consequences. It impacts our ability to address the health and wellbeing challenges facing the LGBTI community.”
MEDIA CONTACTS: AMY SMITH 0459 846 926 (JONES)
LEILA STENNETT 0436 632 388 (MCALLISTER)