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Motorcycles & the 2006 Census - ride to work today! (14 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 8-August-2006  03:49:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This from Murray: The 2006 Census contains an option to indicate that you used a motorcycle to get to and from your place of work on the day of the Census (Question 45).

However, Question 54 asks the usual 'how many vehicles were housed on your premises on the night of 8 August' and goes on to state that motorcycles/scooters are NOT TO BE INCLUDED.

Upon being queried, the Australian Bureau of Statistics replied "Census topics and questions are selected after consultation with census data users. This consultation process for the 2006 Census showed that there was not a high demand for this information." On the use of such statistics, the ABS website says "This information, when combined with information on how people get to work and the availability and use of cars, is used to plan for roads and public transport".

So what they are in effect saying with the 2006 Census is that motorcycles are being ruled out of future planning for AT LEAST until the next Census in 2011 - this may include motorcycle parking, rider training, road and infrastructure planning, use of bus lanes - the list goes on. It's also worth noting that the 2001 Census specifically captured "Number of vehicles (including Motorbikes and Motor Scooters) by Dwelling". This points to a marked shift of opinion regarding motorcycles since 2001. At the very least, there appears to be a deliberate agenda to hide the true statistics - statistics which clearly show that motorcycle useage is increasing faster than any for other passenger vehicle (from a November 2005 ABS media release: "Motorcycles showed the greatest increase (6%) to 421,900 in 2005.")

As well as indicating the number of cars on your premises (if any), be sure to append a comment detailing how many motorcycles were actually on your premises (i.e. add a comment SEPARATE to your response regarding the number of cars, there's enough space on the form). It's important to make our collective voice heard. And don't forget to ride either a motorcycle or a bicycle to work on Tuesday 8th August - if it helps, the weather forecast for the East coast is favourable for Tuesday riding apart from the usual isolated afternoon showers around SE Qld.

It does seem strange in this era of high petrol prices and traffic congestion problems, that information about motorcycles and scooters (which have a direct positive effect on fuel economy and traffic congestion) are recieving less of a focus in this census than the 2001 one. Also, I would recommend AGAINST simply adding the count of motorcycles to your answer to question 54, as this will be interpreted as more cars than in reality which would skew the numbers further away from bikes. I would definitely recommend riding your bike to work today though. But remember, we're not asking you to lie on the form. You should answer the Census truthfully - the correct info is important!

Also, if you are a motorcycle/scooter rider, or want to be, you might want to join OCAU's Motorcycle Club (separate forum login required.)

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.