1270.0.55.005 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 - Remoteness Structure, July 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/03/2018   
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Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Volume 5 – Remoteness Structure (cat no. 1270.0.55.005)

Date of Publication/ Date Stamp : 16 March 2018

Presentation Format: Digital boundaries


Custodian: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)



The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) brings together in one framework all of the regions which the ABS and many others organisations use to collect, release and analyse geographically classified statistics. The ASGS ensures that these statistics are comparable and geospatially integrated and provides users with an coherent set of standard regions so that they can access, visualise, analyse and understand statistics. The 2016 ASGS will be used for the 2016 Census of Population and Housing and progressively introduced into other ABS data collections. The ABS encourages the use of the ASGS by other organisations to improve the comparability and usefulness of statistics generally, and in analysis and visualisation of statistical and other data.

This publication, Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Volume 5Remoteness Structure (cat no. 1270.0.55.005) contains several elements including the ASGS manual, allocation table and the digital boundaries current for the ASGS Edition 2016 (date of effect 1 July 2016).

The digital boundaries for Volume 5 of the ASGS represent the 2016 Remoteness Areas (RAs).

File Nomenclature:

File names have the format RA_2016_AUST where:

< RA> represents Remoteness Areas, the type of boundaries in each file

< 2016> represents 2016 the year of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Edition

< AUST> indicates the data covers all of Australia as defined in the ASGS manual

Within the files, the States and Territories are identified by unique one digit codes.

State and Territory Codes and Names


1New South Wales
4South Australia
5Western Australia
7Northern Territory
8Australian Capital Territory
9Other Territories

File Attributes:

All tables show file type, file name, spatial unit field and the data type.

File Type: Remoteness Area (RA)

File Name (s): RA_2016_AUST

CountField (mid/mif, TAB and GeoPackage)Field (ESRI .shp)Data TypeLength



The compressed download files include geospatial metadata data for each region type in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format. The geospatial metadata conforms to International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) geospatial metadata standard, ISO 19115:2003, and the associated XML implementation schema specified by ISO 19139:2012.


Date of Effect: 16 March 2018


Progress: Completed dataset

Maintenance and Update Frequency: No further updates for these boundaries are planned. The ASGS will be revised in 2021.


Stored Data Format:

Digital as a file for the RA level of the ASGS 2016.

Available Format:

The digital boundary files are in MapInfo TAB format (.TAB), MapInfo Interchange Format (.MID .MIF), Geopackage and ESRI Shapefile (.shp) format.

Spatial Representation Type:


Access Constraints:

Copyright Commonwealth of Australia administered by the ABS. Unless otherwise noted, content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia licence.


Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94)

The digital boundary files have the datum specified as 116 (GDA94). Users of MapInfo 6.0 or later are able to load data sets based on GDA94 directly, without transformation. Earlier versions of MapInfo cannot interpret GDA94 correctly and there may be alignment problems between data sets based on this datum and other earlier datums.


Geographical (i.e. Latitudes and Longitudes)

Geographic Extent:

Geographic Australia.

Extent - Geographic Bounding Box:

North Bounding Latitude: -8
South Bounding Latitude: -45
West Bounding Latitude: 96
East Bounding Latitude: 169



Mesh Block boundaries were created using various sources including the PSMA digital datasets and ABS boundaries, zoning information from state planning agencies and imagery.

Positional Accuracy:

Positional accuracy is an assessment of the closeness of the location of the spatial objects in relation to their true positions on the earth's surface.

The positional accuracy includes:
    • a horizontal accuracy assessment
    • a vertical accuracy assessment

Positional accuracy for ABS boundaries is dependent on the accuracy of the features they have been aligned to. ABS boundaries are aligned to a number of layers supplied by PSMA with an accuracy of +/-50 mm. PSMA layers and their positional accuracy are as follows:
    • Transport and Topography
+/- 2 meters in urban areas and +/- 10 meters in rural and remote areas
    • CadLite
+/- 2 meters in urban areas and +/- 10 meters in rural and remote areas
    • Administrative Boundaries
Derived from the cadastre data from each Australian State and Territory jurisdiction.
    • Greenspace and Hydrology
90% of well-defined features are within 1mm (at plot scale) of their true position, eg 1:500 equates to +/- 0.5metre and 1:25,000 equates to +/- 25 metres. Relative spatial accuracy of these themes reflects that of the jurisdictional source data. The accuracy is +/- 2 metres in urban areas and +/- 10 metres in rural and remote areas. No "shift" of data as a means of "cartographic enhancement" to facilitate presentation has been employed for any real world feature.

Attribute Accuracy:

All codes and labels for the 2016 Remoteness Structure are fully validated.

Logical Consistency:

Regions are closed polygons. Attribute records without spatial objects have been included in the data for administrative purposes.


All geographic levels of the 2016 Remoteness Structure are represented.


Contact Organisation: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Contact: For further information email <client.services@abs.gov.au> or contact the National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) on 1300 135 070.