VT is concerned about the impact of the 2016 Census and the data captured around volunteering. Many not-for-profit organisations use Census data to support their grant funding applications, as it provides vital information on the rate of volunteering in different areas. Understanding where people volunteer is important – we need to be able to understand where volunteering is popular – and importantly where there have been declines in volunteering.
Compounding the problem, the data in the General Social Survey really only shows volunteering activity at a National level, which is too broad for us to apply to a Tasmanian issue. And the data gathered under the National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics has also been removed. This collected data on the sports and arts sectors – work-forces that are heavily dependent on volunteer contributions.
As of September 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) stated that over 7.8 million forms have been received; but we don’t yet know if the 2016 Census will end up with significantly less responses, and if so, if it will still provide an accurate picture of volunteering activity.
To read our submission to the Senate Inquiry, view our Publications page under ‘Advocacy‘.
This issue was featured on the front page of Launceston’s Sunday Examiner.