In July 2008 the ABS announced in Information Paper, Outcomes from the Review of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (cat no 1216.0.55.002 ) that the ASGC was to be replaced. The ABS has undertaken extensive user consultation on the geography standard and further information is available in this information paper.
The new ASGS separates the spatial regions into two broad categories:
- ABS structures: those regions which are defined and maintained by the ABS, and
- non-ABS structures: those regions defined and maintained by other organisations, but for which the ABS supplies data.
One of the advantages of the new ASGS is the improved consistency and stability of units over time. The ABS structures in the new standard will not change substantially between Censuses. This is particularly important for the five yearly Census program as it will improve the quality of time series data from the Census and enable better comparison between Census and non-Census data.
The ASGS uses Mesh Blocks as the building block for this new geography, with Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) being the first level of aggregation of Mesh Blocks into a standard output geographic unit.
It is expected that the ASGS boundaries will be available in December 2010. These will be made available from the ABS website in the same way as the current ASGC boundaries are published.