1270.0.55.003 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 3 - Non ABS Structures, July 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/07/2011  First Issue
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Contents >> Local Government Areas >> Local Government Areas


Local Government Areas (LGAs) are an ABS approximation of officially gazetted LGAs as defined by each State and Territory (S/T) Local Government Department.

LGAs cover incorporated areas of Australia. Incorporated areas are legally designated parts of S/T 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 and all of the Australian Capital Territory and the Other Territories. These regions are identified as ‘Unincorporated’ in the ABS LGA structure.

More information can be found at the Australian Local Government Association website: http://www.alga.asn.au


The boundaries produced for LGAs are constructed from allocations of whole Mesh Blocks (MB) based on the method described in Chapter 1.

The ABS will review the LGAs annually and changes will be by inclusion or exclusion of whole MBs.

This is unlikely to be statistically significant because:

  • The large number of MBs and their relatively small size (approximately 347,000 across the whole of Australia) allows them to approximate any reasonably shaped large geographic region, and so the new LGAs will be able to be accurately approximated.
  • MB boundaries will be reviewed every five years and may be adjusted to better fit LGA boundaries.
  • The MB boundaries already rest on significant features such as roads, rivers and gazetted locality boundaries that are likely to be used as the boundaries for any new LGAs.
  • The ABS encourages State governments to consider MBs and statistical impact in any review of their LGAs.
  • Data on previous LGA boundaries could be transformed by an LGA to LGA correspondence (e.g. 2011 ASGS to 2012 ASGS boundaries).

LGAs will be updated annually and correspondence files to ASGS Statistical Areas of all levels will be released. For the 2011 Census there are 568 ABS defined LGAs, including Unincorporated areas. Unincorporated areas are represented as non spatial objects in the digital boundaries.


In the LGA Structure, LGA names are abbreviated. A suffix also indicates the LGA status. The 2011 LGA names for the ASGS remain the same as LGAs for the 2011 Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC).


City of Albury: Albury (C)

District Council of Copper Coast: Copper Coast (DC)

LGA names are not unique across S/T (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.

In all States and the Northern Territory each incorporated area has an official status. In this ASGS 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 Regional Councils (R)
  • South Australia: Cities (C), Rural Cities (RC), Municipalities/Municipal Councils (M), District Councils (DC), Regional Councils (RegC), Towns (T) 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), Municipalities (M) and Shires (S).


LGAs are identified by four-digit codes. Codes are unique only within a 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.

Non-spatial special purpose codes are included as balancing items. MBs allocated to these codes are not part of any official LGA.
  • LGA code 9399 is reserved for Unincorporated LGAs. This includes cases where people are coded to Migratory, Off-shore and Shipping MBs.
  • LGA code 9499 is reserved for cases where people are coded to No usual address MBs.

State Name State Code LGA Code LGA Name

Queensland 3 31000 Brisbane (C)
Queensland 3 31750 Bulloo (S)
Queensland 3 31820 Bundaberg (R)
Queensland 3 31900 Burdekin (S)
Queensland 3 32070 Cairns (R)
Queensland 3 32250 Carpentaria (S)
Queensland 3 32260 Cassowary Coast (R)
Queensland339399 Unincorporated Qld
Queensland 3 39499 No usual address (Qld)

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