Will I be fined if I can't fill out Census form online?

THOSE fearing they will be fined for failing to complete the online census due to the website outage are being told not to panic.

Late on Tuesday night, after an evening which saw the census website crash, the Australian Bureau of Statistics issued a statement saying Australians would not be penalised.

"The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and census websites are unavailable. The service won't be restored tonight," it said.

"We will update you in the morning. We apologise for the inconvenience.

"There will be no fines for completing the Census after August 9. There's still plenty of time to complete the census. Thanks for your patience."

The ABS has previously said paper census forms do not need to be returned until September 18, and those filling in the survey online have until September 23.

A lot of people have reported not receiving the ID needed to fill out the online form in the mail.

Head of the Census Program, Duncan Young say you have until September 23 to fill it out online. 

"If you haven't received your Census material, don't worry. You can complete the Census after August 9 - you still have plenty of time and you won't be fined for being late," Mr Young said today. 

  "Simply contact the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 214 531 or via our online contact form.


"To avoid expected long phone queues, please call after August 10.

  "Just be sure to complete the form as if it were Census night as soon as possible.

"Census Field Officers will begin visiting households that have not completed the Census from late-August to ensure that everyone can take part."

  Those travelling overseas don't have to complete the Census.

  Those travelling in Australia, will need to fill out a form wherever they are tonight.

People staying in a hotel, motel, caravan park or camping site will be provided with a form.

  But if no one turns up or you were never mailed your online code, don't worry you will not be accruing a fine from tomorrow.

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