I was confronted today for the first time by a very authoritarian and threatening ABS censor collector. It was amazing how my honest answer that I hadn’t received a census form in the mail led to quite a severe escalation in his behaviour, including threats of a fine and a visit by “somebody else”. Maybe he hadn’t had the best of days because he had already broken the door bell button – which was jammed in the on position when I answered the door. The button was pushed through the enclosure.
I was further put off by the fact that I asked several times for a copy of the questionnaire and he couldn’t provide it. When he said he’d mail it, he asked my name. When I said he should send it to the address they sent it before – he said well I’m going to record that you declined to answer the survey. At that point I said you’d better leave, and I’ll be file noting that I have told you three times that I haven’t received the questionnaire.
I read afterwards The Australian story on the Holdworths in in 2012 “Pushing the limits of Privacy” and noted the very similarities in their story to my experience. This is despite the ABS spokesperson Rod Smith stating this is not how we train our people. Surely this can be done better?
– name/location supplied, but withheld by CLA to avoid retribution by bureaucrats