An expert on corruption, with insights into the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Professor Graycar says there is nothing to fear in the latest collection of data by the Australian Government.
He says politicians such as Senator Nick Xenophon are wrong in ‘encouraging distrust in our institutions’.
‘The census is important. Good government requires good data, and the Australian Census provides good data,’ Professor Graycar says.
‘The collection of that data is expensive, but the results it yields are worth every cent for running the country and future planning.’
Professor Graycar, a former member of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council, says: ‘The Australian Bureau of Statistics has an unblemished record when it comes to census data collection and census data management. It is the envy of statistical agencies all over the world.’
Professor Graycar says refusing to put names and addresses will diminish the quality of the data.
Significantly, he says, obstructing the census information collection process also demonstrates a lack of trust in our national institutions.
‘Trust is as important as data for good government,” he says.
‘When politicians say they will not comply, they are expressing a view that they do not trust our key institutions.
‘Our society has been let down by failures in key institutions in recent years, but not by the ABS.
‘If we heed the advice of some politicians and do not demonstrate our trust, then the task of government and consensus building in our society will take a very precarious path.’
Professor Graycar has more than 20 years of experience in senior government posts and is currently Strategic Professor in the School of Social and Policy Studies at Flinders. He also researches and lectures around the world on integrity and corruption prevention.