Australians who failed to fill out the census because of the hours-long website outage will not be fined, and have until September 23 to complete the survey, the federal government says.
Labor is demanding the Minister responsible for managing the census, Assistant Treasurer Michael McCormack resign over the embarrassing website crash, which the Australian Bureau of Statistics said hours earlier could not happen.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the minister both tweeted that they successfully completed the form online, with Mr Turnbull describing the process as "very easy to do."
But millions of Australians were confronted with error messages and the website outage when they attempted to log on after dinner on Tuesday night. The outage was eventually confirmed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The organisation had earlier in the day dismissed suggestions an overload of demand could cause the systems to crash.
Mr McCormack is receiving briefings and the ABS IT staff are working to try and get the system back online.
Labor Senator Sue Lines called for Mr McCormack to quit who was only recently promoted into the ministry after the Malcolm Turnbull's one-seat election victory earlier this month.
Mr McCormack issued a statement just after midnight and said no-one would be fined for not submitting their census form overnight.
"I have been in constant communication throughout the night with the Australian Statistician, David Kalisch, in relation to this matter," he said.
"Those people who have not as yet been able to complete their census forms online will have until 23 September 2016 to participate."
"Australians will not be fined for not submitting their census form last night.
"I am informed by the ABS that a thorough process will be undertaken to ensure all households are counted as part of the census," he said.
The opposition's Assistant shadow treasurer Andrew Leigh told Fairfax Media running the census properly was one of a government's "basic tasks."
"There's few more basic tasks to running a government than conducting a census," he said.
But Mr Leigh said the census website failure was consistent with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's policy to water down the roll out of Labor's gold-plated fibre-to-the-premise broadband network.
"It looks like the kind of census you would expect from someone who's campaigned to have less broadband, slower connection speeds," Mr Leigh said.
Mr Leigh said the opposition would pursue the Government in Parliament and in Senate estimates over the bungle.
"The census is the biggest data collection exercise that we have and it determines allocation of resources across communities," he said.
"If we don't get an accurate snapshot on census night, we can't allocate resources properly," he said, citing closing the gap on indigenous disadvantaged and education funding as two areas that could be affected.
Labor MPs vowed to take up the census failure with the government, which is yet to be officially sworn in.