2923.0.30.001 - Census of Population and Housing: Census Geographic Areas Digital Boundaries, Australia, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/07/2007   
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This product contains the Census Geographic Areas based upon the Collection Districts (CDs) of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) edition 2006, as digital boundaries. The CD boundaries can be accessed from 1259.0.30.002 Statistical Geography - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), Digital Boundaries, 2006.

The Census Geographic Areas include Suburbs, Postal Areas, Commonwealth and State Electoral Divisions, and the Australian Indigenous Geographical Classification. All Census Geographic Area boundaries have been created by an aggregation of CD boundaries.

2006 Census digital boundaries are available only at one level of detail and align accurately with the digital base map data used by the ABS for design of Census Collection Districts (CDs). These boundaries are intended for display in GIS and desktop mapping packages, but 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.

It is important for users to be aware that new 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 (.mid/.mif) format and ESRI Shapefile (.shp) format. 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.

The following digital boundaries are included in this product:

1. State Suburb boundaries

CD-derived State Suburb boundaries are available for all States/Territories except for Other Territories. These boundaries have been based upon localities gazetted by the Geographic Place name authority current at the time of the Census.

Each State Suburb boundary is identified by State Suburb Code (SSC) of 5 digits and a name. The first digit identifies the State or Territory. The second digit identifies the region within the state, such as Wollongong within NSW. The final three digits identify the individual suburb.

SSC codes used for 2006 do not match those used for the 2001 Census. It should also be noted that the coverage of SSCs has increased significantly since the 2001 Census.

2. Postal Area (POA) boundaries

POAs have been constructed by aggregating CDs which have been allocated the same Australia Post postcode. Allocation was carried out using the best information available for postcodes current at the time of the 2006 Census.

Allocation of postcodes was made on the basis of population, not area and some postcodes may not be represented because the CDs which they covered had already been allocated to other postcodes. Other Australia Post postcodes which are not represented in these boundaries include Post Office boxes, Mail Centres and other special purpose postcodes such as competition postcodes.

It should be noted that the following POAs cross State/Territories borders.
NSW POA 2406 crosses into Qld
NSW POAs 2618 and 2620 cross into ACT
NSW POA 2540 crosses into OT (Jervis Bay Territory)
Vic. POAs 3585 and 3644 cross into NSW
Qld POA 4385 crosses into NSW
Qld POA 4825 crosses into NT
WA POA 6743 crosses into NT
NT 0872 crosses into SA and WA
ACT POA 2611 crosses into NSW

3. Commonwealth Electoral Division (CED) boundaries

CD-derived CED boundaries are available for all States/Territories except Other Territories. (Note that Jervis Bay is included with the Australian Capital Territory, and Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands are included with Northern Territory). Because of the expected timing of a federal election soon after the scheduled release of 2006 Census data, two CED classifications have been defined for the 2006 Census. The AEC's electoral division boundaries come into effect after a federal election and are current until the next election. On Census Night 8 August 2006 the electoral division boundaries in effect were those dating from the previous federal election held 9 October 2004. The CD derived CED boundaries for that election are called CED 2004. The next federal election must be held between 4 August 2007 and 19 January 2008 and new electoral boundaries will take effect from then. The CD derived CEDs for that election are called CED 2007.

Each CED has been allocated a three digit code. The first digit is the state code, the remaining two digits are used to number the divisions within each State in alphabetical order.

4. State Electoral Division (SED) boundaries

CD-derived SED boundaries are available for all States and Territories except for Other Territories. They are based upon the State Electoral Divisions which were in force on Census Night 8 August 2006.

Each SED has been allocated a five digit code. The first digit is the state code. For NSW, Queensland, South Australia, WA, ACT and NT the remaining four digits have been used to number the divisions within the state in alphabetical order. In Victoria and Tasmania, digits 2-3 identify the Lower House electorate and digits 4-5 identify the Upper House electorate.

5. Indigenous Regions (IREG) boundaries

CD-derived IREG boundaries cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. They are based on Indigenous Coordination Centres (ICC) and the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) areas. They are attributed with a two digit code and a name that is the same as those determined for the official area by the relevant legislation. IREGs have replaced ATSIC Regions used to disseminate Indigenous data from the 1996 to 2001 Censuses. It should be noted that Indigenous Region, 01 Queanbeyan, crosses State/Territories borders as it includes Jervis Bay.

6. Indigenous Area (IARE) boundaries

IARE boundaries are created from one or more Indigenous Location (ILOC) boundaries. Each IARE is identified by name and by five digit code (two digit IREG code plus a three digit IARE identifier).

7. Indigenous Location (ILOC) boundaries

ILOC boundaries are created by aggregating CD boundaries. Each ILOC is identified by name and by seven digit code (five digit IARE code plus a two digit ILOC identifier).