Media Release: Big Brother 2002, Australian Idol 2004, Marriage Equality Survey 2017? ABS Contemplating SMS Voting For Some Australians
7.20pm | August 17, 2017
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
CHAIR FINANCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFERENCES COMMITTEE
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
SENATOR LOUISE PRATT
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES
SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA
BIG BROTHER 2002, AUSTRALIAN IDOL 2004, MARRIAGE EQUALITY SURVEY 2017?
ABS CONTEMPLATING SMS VOTING FOR SOME AUSTRALIANS
The ABS confirmed today that it still hadn’t worked out how to survey remote and overseas voters, but that the methods it was contemplating included SMS.
The ABS’s evidence before a hearing of the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee demonstrated how the government’s rushed process was threatening the integrity of their marriage equality ‘postal survey’.
Despite senior government officials talking about a postal plebiscite since March, the ABS was only notified one day before it was announced by the government. The government did not seek any substantive advice from the professional statisticians before making the announcement.
The government’s rushed process has left the ABS scrambling to respond. One week out from the close of rolls, the ABS still didn’t know:
- How it was going to survey people travelling overseas, living in remote communities, without a fixed address, or with accessibility issues;
- Whether ‘paperless’ participation would be by SMS, telephone, online or some other means,
- Who would be eligible for ‘paperless’ participation;
- In what languages paper forms would be available; and
- Which contractors the ABS would use.
Senator McAllister said: “It is difficult not to conclude that this government is setting up both the ABS and the campaign for equality to fail. This is a rushed process designed by the conservative wing of the Liberal party that has no interest in acting on the preferences of the more than 70% of Australian who support marriage equality.”
Senator Pratt said: “As a supporter of Marriage equality I am appalled at the evidence today which highlights that this postal survey deviates from the usual statistical methodological standards that should be applied by the ABS.
The integrity of this whole process has been a sham from the beginning, it’s simply terrible that LGBTI people should be put through dreadful process in their struggle to marry.”
THURSDAY, 17 AUGUST 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: REUBEN RAY 0402 821 188 (MCALLISTER)
ELLIE WHITAKER 0431 258 284 (PRATT)