1270.0.55.003 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 3 - Non ABS Structures, July 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/09/2016   
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Australian Drainage Divisions (ADD) are an ABS approximation of drainage divisions. Drainage divisions are defined by major landscape features and climatic zones to form broad hydrological regions as represented in the Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric (Geofabric) 2014 version 2 developed by the Bureau of Meteorology. Unlike in 2011, when the Australian Drainage Divisions were built from Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1), in this edition they have been built from Mesh Blocks.

More information can be found on the Bureau of Meteorology website: http://www.bom.gov.au/water/geofabric/index.shtml

The ASGS Australian Drainage Divisions are an ABS approximation of those provided through Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric, using allocations of one or more Mesh Blocks based on area of overlap (not greatest share of estimated population, as for most other non ABS structures). ASGS Australian Drainage Divisions are created to enable the release of ABS data on areas that, as closely as possible, approximate those provided in the Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric. The use of Mesh Blocks is different to that used in 2011 where these Australian Drainage Divisions were defined using whole SA1s. This is a significant change and as a result of this change the overall accuracy has been greatly increased.

The 2016 ASGS Australian Drainage Divisions comprise a total of 16 regions. Australian Drainage Divisions are defined to cover the whole of geographic Australia, excluding the Territories of Norfolk Island , Cocos (Keeling) and Christmas Islands which have been allocated to D91 "Unclassified (Aust.)". Australian Drainage Divisions can cross state borders, the best example of this is the Murray-Darling Basin which crosses over 4 States and Territories.

No Usual Address and Migratory-Offshore-Shipping are represented as non- spatial objects in the digital boundaries

Australian Drainage Division names are the same as those allocated by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Australian Drainage Divisions are sorted by name then allocated a two digit code starting from 01. This is prefixed by a “D” which enables unique identification across the country and differentiates them from other ABS codes.

The codes used for the ASGS Australian Drainage Divisions may not match those used in 2011 in some instances as codes are assigned alphabetically within each State and Territory, and some Australian Drainage Division have changed. Correspondences enabling translation of data from 2011 to 2016 to qualify these changes are available upon request.

Special purpose codes are included as balancing items. Mesh Blocks allocated to these codes are not part of any official drainage division.

  • ADD code D94 is reserved for those States or Territories where people are coded to the No Usual Address SA1s.
  • ADD code D97 is reserved for States or Territories that have Migratory, Off-Shore and Shipping SA1s.


Australian Drainage Division CodeAustralian Drainage Division Name

D01 Carpentaria Coast
D02 Lake Eyre Basin
D03 Murray-Darling Basin
D04 North East Coast
D91 Unclassified (Aust.)
D94 No usual address (Aust.)
D97 Migratory - Offshore - Shipping (Aust.)