Mount Isa MP Robbie Katter has called on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to perform a census recount of the Mount Isa District after questions were raised with him by Good Shepherd Parish Priest Father Mick Lowcock – a highly respected member of the local community.
“Father Mick called me with serious concerns about the accuracy of the census particularly Indigenous numbers in some of the suburbs in Mount Isa,” said Katter.
“After obtaining a breakdown of numbers in Mount Isa Suburbs and comparing to the 2011 census they just simply don’t look right, particularly in Pioneer, Sunset and Townview. Father Mick works extensively delivering social programs in the Indigenous community and he swears numbers have increased and NOT decreased during the period between census counts.
What really concerns me is the census is used in determining State Government departments level of service delivery funding and delivery of infrastructure funding and expenditure to Mount Isa. If our numbers are understated and incorrect then we will suffer because of it.
We all know the much-publicised issues surrounding the last census count in 2016. It may not affect the larger populated centers as much, but out here where every number counts and may affect whether our region can secure funding and business investment and development, it’s crucial.
I have written to the ABS, outlining our concerns and requesting a full census recount in Mount Isa.”
Father Mick said he raised the issue as it’s important to the community:
“The numbers just don’t add up. I have been working with the Indigenous community for a long time in Mount Isa and the demand for services has increased over the years. I can’t understand or believe that Indigenous numbers in Mount Isa have decreased since 2011. Robbie’s office has been great in getting me the statistical data including the Suburb boundary demarcations and I will be performing my own count in one of the suburbs to prove it as I believe the numbers are wrong.
I am working on evidence to prove the figures are incorrect. We need to get this right and forward the correct information to the ABS to ensure we have reliable data when determining funding and services delivery.”