LBGTQI+ panel to advise ABS on 2026 Census

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will establish an LGBTIQ+ advisory committee to provide guidance on topics and questions for the 2026 Census, including questions relating to gender identity.

Ghassan Kassisieh

It comes after the ABS faced a Human Rights Commission complaint from April Long, who identifies as non-binary and said she felt excluded from the 2021 survey.

The complaint, launched jointly by Mx Long and LGBTIQ+ advocacy group Equality Australia last September, alleged the exclusion of certain topics from the Census, and the way some questions were framed, left LGBTIQ+ people feeling invisible and demeaned. 

The ABS announced on Monday it had reached a successful resolution with the complainants, which involves an apology and a commitment to accept guidance and input on the next Census from the advisory committee.

The Bureau has also issued a statement of regret to members of the LGBTIQ+ community who felt invisible and excluded.

Gender identity shortlisted

The ABS says gender identity has been shortlisted for inclusion in the 2026 census following the first phase of public consultation on data that should be sought, a process that takes place ahead of each census to ensure it captures relevant information.

A second phase of public consultation is open until September 8, with the ABS to submit recommendations on future topics to the government next year.

In its statement of regret the ABS said it recognised the “hurt, stress and anguish” caused by the 2021 census and regretted any distress experienced by the LGBTIQ+ community.

“The ABS is aware that for some respondents, the absence of questions on their gender identity, variations of sex characteristics or sexual orientation meant that they felt invisible and excluded when completing the Census and in the Census results produced,” it said.

Equality Australia has welcomed the resolution.

“We welcome today’s statement and the commitments from the ABS which take us a step closer to finally being counted properly,” Legal Director Ghassan Kassisieh said in a statement. 

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3 thoughts on “LBGTQI+ panel to advise ABS on 2026 Census

  1. This is good news. The Census must reflect all people who are live in the community. I’m glad to hear the consultation with the LGBTIQ+ community is being held.

  2. This is totally irrelevant and not needed. ABS is purely giving in to a trans activist who want to pursue their progressive agenda. Trans / Queer identity is a sensitive and personal attribute that affects a small number of Australians. Gender has nothing productive to do with stats – only a person’s world view which we don’t care about.

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