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Thursday, 4 December 1986
Page: 3323


Senator WALTERS —by leave-I present the following petition, which is not in conformity with Standing Orders, from 14 citizens:

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled.

The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia showeth that the 1986 Census deprived housewives of the right to record their occupation and instead forced them to give the negative response: ``No, did not have a job''.

That the 1986 Census could have been used, at no extra cost to taxpayers, to give a genuine ``Fair Go'' to all women to record their views on the government's National Agenda for Women.

That coinciding with the 1986 Census, the Office of the Status of Women is conducting a costly, selective survey titled: ``a fair go for women''. This survey requires no identification of respondents, making the results of the survey highly suspect since it is known that various groups of individuals have obtained bulk supplies of the brochure, while the majority of women are not aware that their views are being sought by the Government.

Your petitioners humbly pray that the House of Representatives, in Parliament assembled, will restore to the Census a category for Housewives, and that the ``fair go for women'' survey will be recognised as a costly exercise of dubious value in determining the real views of Australian women, as this should be done through the Census, or a Referendum held in conjunction with the next Federal Election to minimise costs, and to give all women a genuine ``Fair Go''.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.