LGANT urges Territory residents to participate in census

Article image - LGANT urges Territory residents to participate in census

Local Government Association Northern Territory (LGANT) President, Damien Ryan, has urged residents in all Territory local government areas to participate in this year’s national Census to contribute to the financial viability of their communities.

The data collected by the Australian Census of Population and Housing ensures vital services are delivered to those living in remote areas that otherwise might slip under the radar.

“The population and housing data collected in the Census influences how much funding each community receives from Commonwealth and Territory government agencies,” Mayor Ryan said.

“The Northern Territory Grants Commission, the Federal Assistance Grants program and departments such as Health and Housing rely on Census data to determine allocations to communities.

“The Census only comes around every five years and if the data collected is inaccurate it can impact long term on communities and councils in terms of program delivery and services.”

In 2011, residents in the Finke community misunderstood the intentions of the Census and withheld vital statistical information that gave an inaccurate picture of its population profile.

“In a trend reversal from that recorded in most other remote communities, the Census showed Finke’s population declined from 200 in 2006 to 162 in 2011,” Mr Ryan said. “This came at considerable cost to MacDonnell Regional Council, which is charged with delivering services to that and other communities.

“It is important that the message gets out to all Territory communities that the census data collected is about providing funding for services, not penalising residents.”

This year’s census is to be held on 9 August.