Tonight's Australian census has been criticised for leaving out questions to gather information about the LGBT+ community.
The 2021 census includes one question regarding gender identity and has left out identifying key information relevant to make appropriate federal government funding allocations.
Castlemaine Community House manager Martyn Shaddick worried the census would not only fail to deliver adequate funding to LGBT+ services due to the lack of information, but members of the queer community would feel disheartened.
"I think this is excluding a big group of people," Mr Shaddick said. "Statistics show the LGBT+ community cover 10 per cent of the population but less than one per cent of federal government funding goes to those services.
"We've been through the process of the Marriage Equality Act but there are still barriers and the census is showing we're clearly not equal.
"If we don't measure LGBT+ people across country correctly, that will affect the allocation of funds to this community.
Once again, I feel left out and excluded.Martyn Shaddick
The census is organised by the ABS and the assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar who told theAustralian Associated Pressthe census was vital for government decisions.
"I am encouraging all Australians to take the time to complete your census tonight and help ensure that this important statistical exercise is a success." he said.
Included in the survey is a question about gender, asking people to tick whether they are male, female or non-binary. For those who tick non-binary, the ABS confirmed their data will be randomly classed as either male or female.
Also, single members of the LGBT+ community will have their sexual orientation data classed as heterosexual rather than queer.
Mr Shaddick said the results of the census will not accurately reflect the Australian community.
"This says to me that if I were single, it would be assumed that I'm heterosexual which is simply not correct," he said.
"This is absolutely a step backwards. It's social exclusion and it's excluding a certain group from society by failing to acknowledge them which is outrageous.
"If the census was something the federal government really wanted to do to find how the community is made up, they're saying we don't care about that bit."
In other news:
Mr Shaddick said he would like to see the census - which is online for the first time - add detailed questions about sexual orientation, gender identity or variations in sex characteristics to accurately represent the LGBT+ community and allocate accurate funds.
The census is compulsory, so you will need to do it. You could be fined up to $222 for every day you fail to complete the survey.
- With Australian Associated Press
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