The ASGC was created to allow spatially comparable statistics to be collected and published by the ABS. However, this objective can only be achieved if the ASGC is consistently applied across all statistical work. The following publishing guidelines are therefore used in the ABS:
- Where possible, each table relates to one particular ASGC structure only. This structure is identified in the table heading or a table footnote.
- Where possible, the ASGC structure is represented in full. Omissions of one or more hierarchical levels in one structure are however, permissible. For example, the entire CD level or entire SSD level of the Main Structure may be omitted. All omissions are noted and explained in the publication.
- Partial omissions from an ASGC structure may also be necessary because of confidentiality considerations. When ASGC spatial units have to be combined, the combinations are confined to spatial units which are:
- within one ASGC structure
- at the same hierarchical level
- within one spatial unit at the next hierarchical level.
For example, in the Main Structure, two or more SLAs are combined within an SSD or, two or more SSDs within an SD.
- In certain circumstances it is permissible in one table, to publish statistics which relate to more than one ASGC structure, for example, if statistics are required on LGAs and SDs. Extreme care is required, however, to ensure the statistics being cross-classified cover the same total area. For example, in some states and the Northern Territory, LGAs cover only part of the S/T, while SDs cover the entire S/T. A cross-classification of LGAs within SDs would therefore not be feasible if S/T totals were required. In this case, use of the Main Structure or the SR Structure would be more appropriate.
- ASGC spatial unit names are shown in table stubs or column headings. These should conform with those in the ASGC or authorised ASGC subsets.
- Each file, document or publication containing statistics classified according to the ASGC specifies the applicable ASGC edition. This is necessary to ensure users can compare like areas across different collections.
- Care should be taken in publishing ASGC spatial unit codes. In publications containing combined national, S/T data, ASGC spatial unit codes are quoted in conjunction with spatial unit names or prefixed by S/T codes to allow unique identification throughout Australia.