Later today there’s a very good chance Australia’s official number of homeless people could drop significantly.

Don't let the new ABS definition of homelessness lull you into thinking this isn't happening

Ordinarily, any drop in homeless numbers is cause for celebration. But this result, unfortunately, has nothing to do with Australia’s success at getting more people back into long-term accommodation. In fact there is a danger that this ‘drop’ could be seized upon to derail the nation’s assault on homelessness. Let me explain…

The Census provides us with the only national and state/territory count of homeless people. While the homeless count has its challenges, it’s still hugely significant for governments and homeless agencies and is of considerable interest to the broader community.

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  • Poking the Dead says:

    07:55pm | 11/09/12

    Didn’t take you long to figure out this is the home of redneck right wingers. Most of us just come here to poke them and have a bit of fun. They’re like zombies. If this site had sound available with the comments, all you’d hear is BRAAAAIIIIINNNNSSS in a real… Read more »

  • nathan says:

    06:36pm | 11/09/12

    i work in a homeless shelter and on the last 2 census nites our forms were never colected.the one bfore that i was living in a homeless shelter and did the forms for the worker out of bordom. six monthes later i went in to say hi and the forms… Read more »


My eight-year-old son Harry was giving me a cuddle recently, and he looked up into my eyes and said: “Don’t make a face like that Mum – it makes you look old.”

Now where did they say I could find that miraculous snake oil face cream? Pic: Fox

Then he took a step back and said: “Wait, you’re not making a face. Mum, you ARE old.”

And you know what, Harry? Right now, Mum feels pretty bloody old, too.

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  • Retired Soldier says:

    07:18am | 02/07/12

    I wonder why they don’t live long - I also wonder what has happened to the hundreds of billions of dollars we have given them in land, Heath care, housing and welfare. When I drive to my daily voluntary role assisting veterans( you know, the people who gave much for… Read more »

  • Robert Smissen of country SA says:

    02:27pm | 25/06/12

    My son with Asperger Syndrome when he was 4 said, “Daddy, why is that little man with that big fat lady?” HMMMM, I still think it was funny! ! ! Read more »


Super enhanced trans-humans with multiple partners, cohabiting in group houses with adjustable walls and rooms that expand and contract according to need. Telecommuting everywhere from work to the shops and even visiting the doctor. And rationing precious natural resources, especially water, to ensure there is enough to go around.

Time to take me for a virtual walk

Welcome to life in the year 2080. Seventy years into the future where robotic humans share the earth with “natural” humans. Or at least that’s the predicted version. As seen through the imagined and collective eyes of a group of writers, social researchers, futurists and scientific types.

National Public Radio journalist Lincoln Weeks has compiled a list of potential. future census questions for the year 2080. The list includes things like, how much water allocation you have been assigned and what kind of robotic characteristics you’ve applied to enhance your natural human state.

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  • SottextHeSJugk says:

    11:38pm | 11/06/12

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  • A man with no name says:

    11:08pm | 27/04/12

    Oh Sunny Visit the rest of the world.  Australia is so far behind. Feel the guilt. That’s climate Read more »


Thank God census night has come and gone. Thank God literally. I’ve been bored witless by insecure atheists prattling on in the last few weeks and days about questions on religion.

For two things are sure. The census will show that a clear majority of Australians believe in a god. And religion is a clear force for good in our society.

“I wonder how many people still believe in God?” my 55 going on 15 year old DJ and artist brother in law Driller (that’s his real name) wrote on his Facebook page recently. “I certainly don’t. Do you?”

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  • Jim says:

    08:14am | 08/12/11

    Anne, I’m not a evolutionary scientist but I use logic to work out that the knowlege we build on in science is based on accepting methods that have been tried and tested many times with the same result. This is accepted as evidence. Therefore, I don’t think scientists are just… Read more »

  • Anne Stocks says:

    08:54pm | 21/11/11

    Jim in all the time I have been posting on Punch even when using a Pen name,  not one of you have given any evidence to support Evolution except that which also confirms Creation ...I have supported written evidence which I have shared with you and others many times….. need… Read more »


Most people won’t even register that there is something different about this year’s census, but I will be cracking open the champagne and waving a flag. A big, bright, rainbow flag.

Now recognised by the ABS as a married couple. Photo:AFP.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics gets a gong this week for being the first government department to recognise my overseas same-sex marriage to my partner, Sarah.

One small tick for the box, one giant tick for the ABS.

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  • Disraeli says:

    08:53pm | 15/08/11

    If you cannot keep control of yourself, under fair and civil criticism of your remarks, you’re wasting your time posting. Having lost your self-control, you indulge in sprays of insensate personal insult and false personal assumption.  These add no weight to your opinion. They leave me utterly unmoved. You have… Read more »

  • Govt@FauxCitizen says:

    12:30am | 14/08/11

    @ Disraeli,,Honest and law abiding decent peope know their moral and legal boundaries and unspoken civic obligations, how many plumbers, electricians, builders, doctors, police,nurses, drivers etc. have that all important peice of paper for wich the state gets their fees and hapily allows the incompetants to perform less than reasonably,… Read more »


The 2011 Census is likely to include a flawed question on religion that will continue to dramatically over-state the extent of religious belief in Australia in spite of the trend towards atheism, agnostic and the flight from organised religion.

Hmmm… maybe I'll say I'm a member of that wacky Judaism cult.

The 2011 Census will take place tonight. Months after that, results will be released and much will be made about the demographic changes in Australian society and what they mean.

Yet Australians are again being asked to choose a religious affiliation in a way that is problematic.

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  • sningeGrieque says:

    04:22pm | 15/12/12

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  • K says:

    11:23pm | 12/08/11

    Yes people should tick the box that reflects their current beliefs. No it’s not ok for anyone to twist statistics. This includes those who tick ‘no religion’. As a side point, some people may want to tick what they were brought up in as this is still important to them… Read more »


As an amateur statistics enthusiast and avid filler-in of forms, I LOVE census time. 

Anyone who lives at number 666 will love this page

It appeals to my social curiosity and love of ordered accuracy. It speaks to my sense of community and my enthusiasm for charting changes. It lets me stick my nose into other people’s business with the Australian government’s blessing.

It’s big. The Twitter account is funny. My standards are low.

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  • porwayoffenry says:

    11:22am | 02/11/12

    Racist loonies have taken leave of their census | Article | The Punch <a >sac longchamp</a> Read more »

  • George says:

    02:11pm | 22/08/11

    In fact, the 2006 census shows there were more Buddhists (417 000).  (Perhaps these people should be more concerned about Buddhist temples!) Where mosques are built will depend on how many Muslims there are in a particular area, not in the whole country. The idea of a mosque on every… Read more »


Once again, the censorial hand of the advertising industry - this time in the form of an arm of government - has moved to protect the public from the evil Atheist Empire. 

The proposed billboard graphic

Railcorp, a government agency, has refused the Atheist Foundation of Australia advertising space at a billboard location in Queanbeyan, NSW.

Apparently supplying the wording and graphic to be advertised to Billboards Australia on 10 December 2010 wasn’t quite enough time for RailCorp to take in the message.  A sign of government efficiency no doubt.

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  • LaraSymn says:

    07:08am | 22/10/12

    must look at this karen millen outlet online shopping FSuSztYo [url=http://www.karen-millen-uk.net/]http://www.karen-millen-uk.net/ [/URL] Read more »

  • Chris L says:

    02:15pm | 17/06/11

    It’s a religion because Carol says so? Looks like the oxford dictionary is wrong then. Read more »


You can’t understand the history of social progress in Australia without understanding the union movement.

Illustration: Sturt Krygsman

Unions have been the way in which ordinary Australians have made their voice heard in Government.

The way in which workers from shearers and nurses to factory workers have got together to build a common cause and combine their strength.

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  • John Livers says:

    07:32pm | 10/05/12

    Joining a Union is a great way to gain a louder voice in wanting better rights and treatment, but you have to join the right union. Not all unions succeed in gaining better welfare for their members, and they leave members hanging. Read more »

  • luis neto says:

    10:28am | 06/05/11

    tony albanese gets a wage increase to over $8 million plus a year but thats ok the ceo’s get massive pay rises nobody cries about it the low income families ask for $26 a week the acci the employers the states start complaining its outrageous the unions are destroying the… Read more »


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