#CensusFail both amuses and horrifies
OPINION: I'LL grant you, watching the country freak out on social media on Tuesday was entertaining, but even so I still reckon I can think of better ways to blow $10 million.
That's how much this year's Census fiasco has cost the nation so far. IBM was paid $9.6 million to build the 'foolproof' platform that was supposed to be impregnable to hackers and could easily cope with the burden of most of the country all logging on at once, while another company got $470,000 to test it.
Really, after the hubris shown by the Government and the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the thuggish threats of heavy fines for those worried about handing out, for the first time, personal details with their Census forms, #CensusFail is comedy gold.
Where it gets tricky is that the Census really is terribly important.
The information gathered by the Bureau of Statistics provides the most complete possible picture of our nation. It shows how we are growing and changing and helps show where wise governments should be directing resources to improve the lives of all Australians.
The Census always prompts a bit of a frisson but at the same time has, until now, been the single most uncontroversial event in Australian life - at least, compared to hotbeds of debate such as elections, jury duty, and daylight saving - at least until the boffins at the Bureau start sorting the data.
However, the way this Census has rolled out makes me wonder if they'll end up with all the data they need to sort.