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Turnbull: “This Is An ABS Failure – I’m Not Happy”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he’s not happy with what he says is an ABC failure on the census.


As the Australian Bureau of Statistics census remains offline, Turnbull spoke for the second day on the failure of the online census submission technology two nights ago. “This is an ABS failure,” Turnbull told a press confernece. “I’m not happy.”

Turnbull said DDos attacks – distributed denial of service – were “predictable” and “always going to happen”.

Asked whether the system simply failed to cope with the volume of people attempting to submit their census form, Turnbull said the system was engineered to handle 260 form submissions per second, but the highest rate reached was 150 per second. He repeated claims that most of the DDoS attacks came from the United States, pointing out that Virtual Private Networks allow the origin of attacks to be disguised.

Turnbull said there are about 10 million households in Australia. Around 2.3 million census forms were completed online before the shutdown. Around 3.7 million paper forms were with households. “I think we will see a high degree of completion of the form,” Turnbull said.

Turnbull’s comments were made at a press conference called to discuss mental health issues amongst veterans. The Minister for Health and Aged Care, Sussan Ley, and the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Dan Tehan, also spoke.

  • Listen to Turnbull’s comments on the census (12m)
  • Listen to the full press conference (36m)
  • Watch Turnbull (9m)
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