Census night is 9 August: be prepared

THE AUSTRALIAN census was first taken in 1911 and has played an important role in charting the nation's history and directing its future. On 9 August 2016, for the first time ever, you will have the option to complete the census online.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which run the census, has said that providing an online option will be more environmentally friendly and reduce the cost of the census to the public purse.

But don't worry if you're not online, you'll still be able to fill out the paper census. The ABS expects more than 7 million people will opt for the traditional paper census.

From 29 July, every household in Australia will receive an instruction letter in the mail, with details about how to complete the census online and a unique 12 digit number.

The Census Office told CPSA you'll need to call the phone number provided in the body text of your instruction letter and follow the automated prompts. Remember to have your unique 12 digit number handy. If you have any trouble using the automated service, you'll be transferred through to a call centre agent.

If you'd like to speak to a real person from the outset, then you'll need to call the Census Inquiry Service phone number. This number was not available at the time this article was written, but should be included in your letter.