1259.0.30.004 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure (RA) Digital Boundaries, Australia, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/11/2007  First Issue
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ASGC Remoteness Structure (RA) Digital Boundaries (ABS Cat. No. 1259.0.30.004).


The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) is a hierarchical classification system of geographical areas and consists of a number of interrelated structures. It provides a common framework of statistical geography and enables the production of statistics which are comparable and can be spatially integrated.

The ASGC covers Geographic Australia including the external territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands & Christmas Island, but excluding all other external territories.

This product, Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure (RA) Digital Boundaries, Australia 2006 contains the digital boundaries current for the ASGC Edition 2006 Remoteness Structure (RA) (date of effect 8 November 2007). The purpose of the structure is to classify Census Collection Districts (CDs), which share common characteristics of remoteness, into broad geographical regions called Remoteness Areas (RAs).

The Remoteness Structure is maintained as a separate structure in the ASGC because the spatial units (RAs) do not align with those from any of the other structures. The Remoteness Structure is defined only in census years, commencing with the 2001 Census. It contains three hierarchical levels, comprising in ascending order: CDs-RAs-S/Ts. There are six classes within the structure which when aggregated cover the whole of Australia.

These boundaries are intended for display in GIS and desktop mapping packages, and because of the high level of detail, they are not suitable for use in 'low-end' mapping packages such as those included in Excel and Lotus 123.

Operating Environment

It is important for users to be aware that boundaries released by the ABS after August 2001 are based on the geocentric Datum of Australia (GDA94). GDA94 provides an internationally compatible coordinate system for all geographic data and allows Australia to gain significant benefit from Global Positioning Systems technology. The transformation of boundary data to GDA94 involves a significant shift, of about 200 metres to the north east, compared to coordinates based on the older Australian Geodetic Datum (AGD).

Older GIS/desktop mapping software packages may not recognise this new datum and therefore boundaries based on the new datum will not necessarily align with boundaries based on earlier datums. However the GIS/desktop mapping software may have the capacity to adjust data to another datum when two datasets are viewed together.

Boundaries are supplied in MapInfo Interchange format (.mid / .mif) and ESRI Shapefile format (.shp, .shx, .dbf, .prj, .shp.xml, .sbx, .sbn). MapInfo Interchange format cannot be used for mapping directly, but is suitable for import into other GIS or desktop mapping packages. However, it is possible that limitations of individual software packages may make it impossible to import all boundary sets.

File Nomenclature

Each file name has the format <file type><06><a><STE Code> where:

<file type> represents the type of boundaries in each file

RA = Remoteness Area

<06> represents 2006 the year of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Edition.

<a> indicates the data is at a high level of detail i.e. "all points" data

<STE Code> represents the ASGC State/Territory Code.

AUST = Australia

Remoteness Area Codes

RAs are identified by unique one-digit codes within each state/territory. For unique Australia-wide identification, each RA must be used in conjunction with the State/Territory Code.



1 New South Wales

0 Major Cities of Australia

1 Inner Regional Australia

2 Outer Regional Australia

3 Remote Australia

4 Very Remote Australia

5 Migratory

File Attributes
File TypeAttributesTypeComments
RASTATE_CODE_2006Integer1 digit ASGC S/T code
RA_CODE_2006Integer2 digit RA code
RA_NAME_2006Character (30)

All column headers show spatial unit type, spatial unit attribute and year of edition.

Data Quality

The ASGC Edition 2006 Remoteness Structure (RA) digital boundaries are based upon the 2006 CD boundaries of the ASGC Edition 2006.

While the topological consistency of the data can be regarded as high there may be very small errors such as gaps, overlaps and bow-ties.


Refer to the 1259.0.30.004 Metadata Proforma under Explanatory Notes and GDA94_Factsheet.pdf listed with this product.


Information regarding the underlying concepts of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification and its Structures may be found in the ABS publication Statistical Geography Volume 1 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification 2006 (ABS Cat. No. 1216.0). A publication is produced for each edition of the ASGC.

For enquiries please contact the ABS Geography Section, see details below.

ABS Geography Section
Email: geography@abs.gov.au


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.