1386.0 - What's New in Regional Statistics, 2012  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/06/2012   
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This document was added 21/09/2012.

Image: Changes to Geography for the Survey of Tourist Accommodation CHANGES TO GEOGRAPHY FOR THE SURVEY OF TOURIST ACCOMMODATION

What is the ASGS?
Why was the ASGS introduced to the STA?
What level of geography is now available for the STA?
When was the ASGS introduced into the STA?
What is available to assist in transitioning to the ASGS?
Further information


The ABS has been progressively replacing the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) with the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) as its geographic framework.

The purpose of this article is to provide information about how the ASGS has been implemented in the Survey of Tourist Accommodation (STA), and includes information to assist users to transition to this change.


The ASGS is the framework for understanding and interpreting the geographical context of statistics published by the ABS. It brings all the regions for which the ABS publishes statistics within the one framework and will be used for the collection and dissemination of all geographically classified statistics. As a whole, the ASGS represents a more comprehensive, flexible and consistent way of defining Australia's statistical geography than the ASGC. For more information on the ASGS please refer to the ABS website at www.abs.gov.au/geography.


All ABS collections are transitioning to the ASGS by 2013. The ASGS addresses some of the shortcomings of the ASGC in that:
  • It brings all the geographic regions used by the ABS into the one framework and now includes Non-ABS structures (such as Tourism Regions) which are not defined by the ABS but which are important to users of ABS statistics.
  • The ABS structures will remain stable between each cycle of the Census, although Tourism Regions (a Non-ABS structure) will continue to be reviewed on an annual basis.
  • The regions at each level of the ASGS ABS structures are more consistent in population size.
  • The regions at each level of the ASGS ABS structures are based on the idea of a functional area and are built around whole official gazetted localities.


Statistical Area Level 2

Under the ASGS, small area data is produced at Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) and replaces Statistical Local Area (SLA) data. To assist with the transition, there will be a dual release of small area data for the four quarters of 2012. Data will be released at both the SLA level (using ASGC 2011) and at the SA2 level (ASGS). As backcasting of historical STA data onto the ASGS is not possible, the dual release will allow users to continue with an ASGC time series for a 12 month period, whilst beginning a new ASGS time series at the same time.

Tourism Region

Tourism Regions (TRs) have changed to be constructed from allocations of whole SA2s rather than whole SLAs. Unlike SLAs which changed every year, SA2s will be reviewed only once every five years, therefore making these data more stable over time. Furthermore, SA2s are in general smaller than SLAs and, as they represent functional areas of regional towns, the SA2 based TRs are a better geographical representation of underlying social and economic interactions than the SLAs based TRs.

As TRs are defined each year by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) in consultation with State and Territory Tourism organisations, TR boundaries and names may still change each year as a result of this consultation.

A Statistical Geography Fact Sheet has been produced for Tourism Regions and how they fit into the ASGS. This contains further information on the ASGS which may be useful, and is available for download from the Statistical Geography Portal on the ABS website.

Local Government Area

Under the ASGC, Local Government Areas (LGAs) were made up of one or more SLAs. As the lowest level of geography available for the STA under the ASGC was SLA, it was possible to produce LGA level data by aggregating selected SLAs. Under the ASGS, a relationship does not exist between LGAs and SA2s. As SA2 is the lowest level of geography now available for the STA, it is no longer possible to produce LGA level data. As a result, the selected LGA data series which was produced for the STA has been discontinued. Similarly, data for the special area of 'Brisbane City Core' will also be discontinued.

The ASGS became the geographical framework for the STA from the March quarter 2012 and affects all STA releases which contain small area data. STA data at the Australia and state/territory level has not been affected by the move to the ASGS. STA small area data based on the ASGS are contained in the following data releases:
  • Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, New South Wales - Australian Capital Territory (cat. no. 8635.1.55.001 - 8635.8.55.001)
  • Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, Australia (8635.0.55.002).


An information paper has been developed which provides Tourism Region maps and establishment counts comparing the old and new geographies. This information paper is available from the ABS website at: Information Paper: Future changes to Tourist Accommodation, Australia, June 2012 (cat. no. 8635.0.55.003).

The ABS is also making an extensive range of correspondences available to assist with the implementation of the new statistical geography. Those of particular relevance for STA users are '2011 SLA to SA2' and 'SA2 to LGA' correspondences. A complete list of correspondences available and the dates they will be released are available from the Statistical Geography Portal on the ABS website, or by emailing geography@abs.gov.au.


For further information on Tourism Accommodation statistics, including implementation of the ASGS in the Tourist Accommodation collection or changes to outputs, please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.