1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) - 2006, Jul 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/07/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 3 Local Government Area Structure


The LGA Structure shows the relationship between LGAs and SLAs. This relationship can be one LGA to one SLA or one LGA to many SLAs.

The LGA Structure is separate from the Main Structure because:

  • Unlike spatial units in the Main Structure, LGAs do not cover the whole of Australia
  • Unlike SLAs which aggregate to form SSDs and SDs, some LGAs do not wholly fit within an SSD and an SD (e.g. Beaudesert Shire in Queensland).


Incorporated areas only

The LGA Structure covers only incorporated areas of Australia. Incorporated areas are legally designated parts of states and territories over which incorporated local governing bodies have responsibility. The major areas of Australia not administered by incorporated bodies are the northern parts of South Australia, most of the Northern Territory and all of the Australian Capital Territory and the Other Territories.

In Population Census years the LGA Structure has four levels of hierarchy, in ascending order these are: CDs-SLAs-LGAs-S/Ts (Incorporated Areas). In non-census years CDs are not defined and consequently the LGA Structure has only three levels: SLAs-LGAs-S/Ts (Incorporated Areas). The spatial units in each level relate to each other in a straightforward manner: LGAs comprise one or more whole SLAs and SLAs comprise one or more whole CDs.

Processing LGAs for the ASGC

LGAs are proclaimed by state and territory government authorities and changes are gazetted throughout the year. The ABS has broadened the categories of legislation used to define local government areas for statistical purposes, to include the Indigenous Council areas in the states and Northern Territory.

LGAs are used as the base on which SLAs are defined. Because this definition process takes time, LGAs gazetted during the year leading up to an ASGC edition cannot always be included in that edition. For instance, complex LGA changes which result in complicated redesign of SLAs, or changes gazetted too close to the effective date of 1 July of an ASGC edition, may have to be included in a later edition.


The current LGA Structure, down to SLA level, is shown in Chapter 14, The Classification Structures.

For example:

  • Local Government Areas and Statistical Local Areas - Alphabetic
Diagram: Local Government Areas and Statistical Local Areas - Alphabetic

Note that there is no SD or SSD code for the LGA because LGAs are not part of the Main Structure. This table also shows SLAs which cover unincorporated areas and are therefore not part of the LGA Structure.

For example:

Diagram: Unincorporated areas


Census Collection District (CD)

Statistical Local Area (SLA)

For discussion about these spatial units see Chapter 2, Main Structure.

Local Government Area (LGA)

An LGA included in the ASGC LGA Structure is a spatial unit which represents the whole geographical area of responsibility of an incorporated Local Government Council, an Aboriginal or Island Council in Queensland, or a CGC in the Northern Territory.

An LGA consists of one or more SLAs. LGAs aggregate directly to form the incorporated areas of S/Ts (see ASGC Structural Chart, Chapter 1). In this edition of the ASGC, there are 667 LGAs defined.

Delimitation of LGAs

The creation and delimitation of LGAs is the responsibility of the state and territory Governments. The number of LGAs, their names and their boundaries vary over time.

Local government bodies perform a wide range of functions in the areas they administer. These functions are defined in legislation such as:

  • The Local Government Acts in each state and the Northern Territory
  • The Indigenous Council Acts in each state and the Northern Territory
  • Specific Acts and regulations establishing Local Government Areas in Queensland, City of Brisbane Act 1924, and the Commonwealth Aluminium Corporation Pty Limited Agreement (Weipa Town Area) Regulation 1994.

LGA status

In all states and the Northern Territory each incorporated area has an official status. In this ASGC edition, the various LGA status types currently in use are:
  • New South Wales: Cities (C) and Areas (A)
  • Victoria: Cities (C), Rural Cities (RC), Boroughs (B) and Shires (S)
  • Queensland: Cities (C), Shires (S), Towns (T) and Island Councils (IC)
  • South Australia: Cities (C), Rural Cities (RC), Municipalities/Municipal Councils (M), District Councils (DC), Regional Councils (RegC) and Aboriginal Councils (AC)
  • Western Australia: Cities (C), Towns (T) and Shires (S)
  • Tasmania: Cities (C) and Municipalities (M)
  • Northern Territory: Cities (C), Towns (T), Community Government Councils (CGC) and Shires (S).

LGA name

In the LGA Structure LGA names are contracted. A suffix also indicates the LGA status.


      City of Albury Albury (C)
      District Council of Copper Coast Copper Coast (DC)

LGA names are not unique across states and territories (e.g. Campbelltown (C) is duplicated between New South Wales and South Australia). An LGA name will become unique when used in conjunction with a state code, or its LGA code.

LGA code

LGAs are identified by four-digit codes as follows:

  • Codes are unique only within an S/T. For unique Australia-wide LGA code identification, the four-digit code must be preceded by the S/T code. All LGA codes end with the digit 0.
  • Where an LGA corresponds to an SLA, the LGA code and the SLA code are identical.
  • Where an LGA consists of more than one SLA, generally the first three digits of the LGA code and the SLA code are identical.

The exceptions to this rule are explained in special case LGA codes below.

Special case LGA codes

When an LGA consists of many component SLAs, it becomes impossible to maintain a three-digit link between the LGA code and the SLA codes. This occurs for the LGAs of: Queensland - Brisbane (C), Gold Coast (C), Logan (C), Pine Rivers (S), Redland (S), Caboolture (S), Maroochy (S), Ipswich (C), Cairns (C), Thuringowa (C) and Townsville (C); and for the Northern Territory - Darwin (C) and Palmerston (T).

For example, the LGA of Brisbane (C) in Queensland is split into 158 SLAs, including:

      Acacia Ridge 1001
      Yeronga 1648
      Zillmere 1653

State/Territory (S/T)

For discussion about this spatial unit see Chapter 2, Main Structure.

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