By Michael Giles

IS THERE really more people living permanently in Inverloch now than there is in Leongatha?
Is there enough people living in the catchment area for the Wonthaggi Hospital to warrant its upgrade to subregional status?
Are there enough education, health and other government services available locally for the number of people living in this area?
Does our socio-economic profile demand a better public transport system?
There are a lot of very important government funding and planning decisions that hang on the collection of accurate information at Census time but, unfortunately, all of the hullabaloo over privacy concerns, completely unfounded I believe, might be about to taint the responses from the public.
This would be a most unfortunate outcome.
Because the fact is, the authorities have never had more information about us than they do already, much of it provided freely by us, and a good deal of it collected via our activities on the net.
It’s quite amazing to see, for example, what people are prepared to post on their own Facebook pages and other social media about their kids and themselves; there for all to see forever, while they complain about the Census.
And be assured, many employers will access the social media of prospective staff members before giving them a job. The police and other authorities certainly do.
If people have real concerns about their privacy, they might like to start taking action by reassessing what they are prepared to publish on their own social media outlets.
As for the Census, much if not all the information we are being asked to provide is already held in our names by the tax office, the electoral commission and the local shires.
It wouldn’t take much to aggregate that information, in fact it might go a long way to cutting out the rorting of the social security system if we all had a unique social security number to be used when accessing health care, government benefits and the like.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that there are people out there who don’t give a stuff about ripping the community off by taking government payments they’re not entitled to receive.
As for the Census, if you read it, there’s not a lot to get too excited about.
If you already declare all of your taxable income, what’s to hide?
There’s plenty of choice about how you answer the religion question.
And if you’re not volunteering to help a local community group or organisation, you should be.
It’s all been a load of nonsense, like Bill Shorten complaining about Malcolm Turnbull not backing Kevin Rudd for the position of Secretary General of the UN. For goodness sake, Labor didn’t even think he was good enough to be Prime Minister of Australia!