Census 2016

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), which covers staff at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), said PM Malcolm Turnbull should be "apologising not finger pointing” for the August 9 Census debacle.

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said: “Staff saw these problems coming a mile off. There are 700 fewer staff at the ABS now than when the last Census was conducted five years ago and as a result staff are suffering under massive workloads.

When the Census website crashed and was taken offline on August 9, the ABS was quick to blame overseas hackers. And in its defence, blaming foreigners has worked pretty well for authorities in this country on pretty much every other issue up till now.

They had one job: Count 24 million people in the National Census. But now the Turnbull government looks like a deer caught in the headlights.

One of the most stunning things about the spectacular implosion of the National Census is that it was billed by the government as “the largest online event in Australian history”.

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