11.55pm – The Federal Government faces ridicule in the coming days, following tonight’s Census debacle.
As unknown numbers of people attempted to submit their census forms through the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website, the server crashed. Around 11.30pm, the ABS announced on Twitter that the service would not be restored tonight and an update will be issued tomorrow.
Whilst many people completed the census online without any difficulty, it appears that the sheer volume of traffic during the evening was too much for the system.
The Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack, said in a statement that Australians would not be fined for not completing the census tonight.
The technical problems followed days of debate about privacy and security issues, following an announcement by the ABS that names of census participants would be retained for four years.
Statement from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Click to enlarge.
Australian Bureau of Statistics website front page tonight. Click to enlarge.
Statement from the Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack. Click to enlarge
First edition front page of Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper. Click to enlarge.