This postal survey is expensive, divisive, and unnecessary. But it shouldn’t give anyone a licence to act with impunity.
You are entitled to expect that this postal survey and the associated campaigns are conducted fairly, freely, and respectfully.
Let us know
If you see campaign material or behaviour that you think breaches our shared expectations and values, I encourage you to make a submission to the Senate inquiry I am leading into the conduct of the survey.
The committee does not have the power to take action to police individual instances of poor conduct. However, making a submission allows the inquiry to formally consider your experience, and ask the government for answers. Your submission doesn’t have to be long – you may wish to include information about where and when you saw the campaign related material or behaviour.
You can send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
Make a complaint
There are now some limited rules governing the conduct of the campaigns.
Under these rules, campaign material needs to be properly authorised, and cannot mislead someone about the process for responding to the survey.
There are also heavy penalties for any conduct which vilifies, intimidates or threatens harm to you or others, including on the basis of your religious conviction, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.
The laws establish a formal procedure for making complaints. The YES campaign should be able to assist you in making a complaint. If you wish to proceed on your own, however, there is information available here on how to initiate a complaint with the Attorney-General.
Tell the police
People who aim to frustrate the integrity of the postal survey by stealing, selling or forging survey forms, or otherwise interfering with the survey forms of other people may be committing serious criminal offenses. If you are aware of any potential cases you should report them to the police.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics is responsible for running this postal survey. You should notify them of potential threats to the integrity of the survey by contacting them here and here. You should also consider making a formal submission to the senate inquiry so that we can follow up the issue with the government.
Intimidation and abuse are never ok. If you think someone has broken the law, you should report them to the police.
Finally, I know that the way that this postal survey has been distressing for many people and their families. Please know that there is a huge community of support there for you. Stay safe, love one another, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14 or through their website.