Thousands facing fines if they refuse to divulge health info to ABS

50,000 people randomly selected for the survey face fines of up to $110 per day if they refuse to provide private personal information to the ABS.

"Participants will be weighed and measured and will be asked to give a blood and urine sample. They will also be asked detailed questions on what they drink and eat and their physical activity.

The ABS said participation “is ultimately compulsory for those chosen by random sampling to ensure the survey accurately represents the Australian population as a whole”.

Forced participants are asked to answer questions about their income, assets, health, personal history, eating habits, family details, employment and even how many rooms are in their home.

Anyone who is asked to participate and refuses can be "prosecuted under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, and a fine may be imposed", says an ABS spakesperson.

This is an absolute abuse of freedom of information laws. Forget about civil liberties. Is Australia moving closer to the so-called "Nanny state"?

The ABS claims the results will be used to gain valuable information to design better preventative health policies. However, with participants being coerced to provide deeply personal, private information, the question is, how accurate will the information be? What will guarantee the information is truthful? Would everybody provide their bank account details and health history because some bureaucrat wants it? The simple answer is no. Of course, people would be more than willing to provide such information if it is in the course of applying for a job or to open a new bank account. That is their choice. They chose to do so. But where the government forces a select few people to provide the information, the practice is very unethical.

Several people have reportedly been traumatised by the ABS. They have gone to considerable expense to obtain documents for things such as financial reports from tax agents and doctor reports. How is this fair, when 99.99% of the rest of the population did not need to go to such efforts?

If you have been forced to provide info for the ABS, or know of someone who has, please let us know. And of course, do not leave your real name or other private details.


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