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Dick Head Interviews

What Really Counts

What Really Counts

Friday 19 August, 2016
Dick and Dave discuss the census fiasco and whether it will really count for anything.
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Dick Head Reports on FridayMash


The Dick Head Interview

with David Kalisch

Head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics

“Tell me Dave” began Dick “exactly how big a stuff-up is the census?”

“Well Dick” replied Dave “thank you for your interesting question and I’m happy to report that the census is right back on track although perhaps it’s only fair to point out it’s a different track from the one it started out on”

“Would it be fair to say” persisted Dick “that the decision to put the census on-line was an unmitigated disaster?”

“No I wouldn’t put it quite like that” replied Dave “because I certainly believe the disaster was mitigated if not dilapidated”

“But surely” reasoned Dick “it was a glitch, hitch or even a real bitch”

“Possibly” responded Dave “but it’s not worth getting excited about because there’s around twenty-five million people in Australia and it’s inevitable that whatever we do we’re going to miss a few here and there”

“Who do you believe blocked the entry to your site?” asked Dick

“I wouldn’t be surprised” replied Dave “if it was people smugglers trying to hide the number of asylum seekers they’ve actually brought into Australia”

“You must have been absolutely ropable” suggested Dick “that so many Senators refused to complete the census form”

“It won’t make any difference” replied Dave “because they’re all such a bunch of nobodies”

“So when do you expect the census to be completed?” asked Dick

“In a year or so” replied Dave “unless somebody hacks into our adding machines”

“What changes do you anticipate making” asked Dick “for the next census?”

“I think next time we’ll probably just do an estimate” replied Dave “because it saves so much time and money and it’s almost certainly more accurate”

“But isn’t it vital” asked Dick “that for the purposes of forward planning the government needs highly accurate numbers on population growth?”

“Experts are forming the view” replied Dave “that to make things easier Australia’s population should be set at a permanent level such as twenty-five million. When people pass on or emigrate that would be checked regularly against births and if that results in a number less than twenty-five million the shortfall would be made up by bringing in refugees. And there wouldn’t be any further need for censuses”

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About this Series
Dick’s outstanding career in political journalism owes much to recent advances in psychiatric treatment. In his role as a leading Canberra correspondent Dick enjoys an especially close rapport with all the leading politicians and the loony left because he’s met them all at the treatment centre.

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