Expect return Census visits

Census collector Shani Gill and area supervisor Kylie Morrissy will spend the next week collecting completed Census forms.

THERE has already been one knock on the door, but Colac and district residents can expect another after the 16th national Census finished last night.

Every person in Colac and district should have been part of the count, which gives authorities an accurate picture of people in Australia to help with future planning of hospitals, schools and parks.

Colac’s Shani Gill and Kylie Morrissy were part of the collection teams targeting Colac and district homes for the count, which occurs every five years.

Ms Gill is one of 16 collectors in the Colac city and one of 29,000 collectors around the country.

She spent 20 hours visiting 398 Colac homes in the week leading up to census date.

“Everybody was really friendly. I think most people had heard about it and knew what to expect,” Ms Gill said.

“A few people sort of thought I was selling something, but people were very welcoming and willing to participate. They saw the value in the Census,” she said.

“Having worked in this role myself, I’ve found out more about what it’s used for, the value of the Census overall in regards to future planning.”

Ms Morrissy said it was her second Census working as an area manager.

She said that while “99.9 per cent of people are nice”, she often met people who were concerned about giving out private information.

“A lot of people may be unaware that the data itself isn’t linked to any other government organisation so it’s not linked to Centrelink and it’s not linked to immigration,” she said.

“Once they get the form they rip the front page off and the name’s no longer linked to the data.”

In the last census there were 20,295 people listed in the Colac Otway region, 49.8 per cent were female and 50.2 per cent were male.

Ninety-two per cent of people in Colac on August 8, 2006, were Australian citizens.

The leading employment industry in the Colac Otway region was dairy farming, followed by hospitals, education and sheep, beef cattle and grain.

The median individual weekly income was $403, which was $63 less than the nation average.

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