In the state of New South Wales, Australia, there are many areas which are commonly known by regional names. Regions are areas that share similar characteristics. These characteristics may be natural such as the Murray River, the coastline, or the Snowy Mountains. Alternatively, the characteristics may be cultural, such as a viticulture land use. New South Wales is divided by numerous regional boundaries, based on different characteristics. In many cases boundaries defined by different agencies are coterminous.

Local government[]

In New South Wales the third tier of elected government after the federal and state governments is the Local Government Authorities, which are responsible for the Local Government areas. The types of LGA's in New South Wales are cities, municipalities, shires and regions.

New South Wales has more than 100 Local Government Areas which have an elected council and carry out various functions delegated to them by the New South Wales state government.

Australian Bureau of Statistics[]

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has multiple regional structures for which it analyses and reports data. These regional structures derive from the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (AGSC). The AGSC defines at the very smallest level, the Census Collection District (CCD). These CCD's aggregate to form the Statistical Local Area (SLA), which is the common base unit for each of the larger regional structures.[1] The boundaries of the SLA are designed to be typically coterminous with Local Government Areas unless the LGA does not fit entirely into a Statistical Subdivision (SSD), or is not of a comparative nature to other LGA's.[1] Bureau of Statistics provides statistics for Local Government Areas, as well as three other statistical structures: Statistical Divisions, Statistical Regions, and Statistical Districts.

Statistical Divisions[]

Statistical Divisions (SD) form the main structural hierarchy of statistical analysis. These regions are structured to provide a broad range of social, demographic and economic statistics.[1] The basis for the boundary delineations center on socioeconomic criteria.[1] The thirteen divisions for New South Wales are:

Central West, Far West, Hunter, Illawarra, Mid-North Coast, Murray, Murrumbidgee, North Western, Northern, Off-Shore Areas & Migratory, Richmond-Tweed, South Eastern, Sydney [2]

Statistical Regions[]

The Statistical Region (SR) structure was established in 1986 as a means for labor force analysis.[3]

Sydney: Canterbury-Bankstown, Central Northern Sydney, Central Western Sydney, Eastern Suburbs, Fairfield-Liverpool, Gosford-Wyong, Inner Sydney, Inner Western Sydney, Lower Northern Sydney, North Western Sydney, Northern Beaches, Outer South Western Sydney, St George-Sutherland
Balance of New South Wales: Central West, Far West-North Western, Hunter, Illawarra, Mid-North Coast, Murray-Murrumbidgee, Northern, Richmond-Tweed, South Eastern

Statistical Districts[]

The Statistical District (SDist) is a non-capital, urban region of one or more adjoining areas, with a population of 25,000 or more. The SDist is defined with consideration of a 20 year growth forecast. The SDist does not need to conform to LGA boundaries or to state territory boundaries.[4] The thirteen Statistical Districts in New South Wales are:

Newcastle, Wollongong, Nowra-Bomaderry, Bathurst-Orange, Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga (New South Wales and Victoria), Gold Coast-Tweed (New South Wales and Queensland), Canberra-Queanbeyan (New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory)

Informal divisions[]

New South Wales is also informally divided into a smaller number of regions. These regions have no general administrative function or status. Many of them are only vaguely defined, or are defined in different ways for different purposes. For example, departments of the New South Wales government, such as the New South Wales Police Force, or the Department of Health, define regions of the State for their own internal administrative purposes. These regions may be defined in completely different ways, as shown by the maps in the references.

The original basis for descriptive regional names in New South Wales is based on the geography of the State.

The State can be divided into four components:

  • the coastal regions fronting the Tasman Sea in the east of the State
  • the highlands which form part of the Great Dividing Range
  • the western (inland) slopes of the highlands, which form the main agricultural region of the State
  • the arid western plains

These four components are then typically divided into north, central and southern components based upon their location relative to Sydney.

This two-way subdivision gives rise to the generic pattern of regions:

The "North Coast" is often subdivided into the "Mid North Coast" and the "Northern Rivers" in the far north east of the State.

The "South Coast" is often divided into the "Illawarra" (between Royal National Park and Nowra), and "South Coast" (south of Nowra).

Two additional regions are typically defined. The "Hunter Region" lies between the North Coast and the Central Coast, and includes the valley of the Hunter River which extends far inland between the Northern Tablelands and the Central Tablelands, as well as the Newcastle, New South WalesLake Macquarie conurbation.

The "Riverina" region lies in the central south of the State, around the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers. This region may, or may not, include the South-West Slopes, depending on the context.

Specific Uses of Regions for different purposes[]

Weather Forecasting[]

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology divides New South Wales into fifteen districts which it groups into four broader regions.[5]

  • North East: Northern -Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Northern Tablelands-
  • Metropolitan
  • South East: Illawarra, South Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands
  • Western Inland: North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains, South West Slopes, Riverina, Lower Western, Upper Western.

Regional Organisations of Councils[]

The Local Government Areas in New South Wales have created regional groupings. The NSW Regional Organisations of Councils, typically with names like "Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils" ( WSROC ) have the main function of lobbying the State Government on various matters, coordinating economic development, joint purchasing between councils and regional promotion. They have no formal administrative function.

Historically, groupings of local governments were also involved in sharing electricity and water supply undertakings.

New South Wales Government[]

Department of State and Regional Development[]

The Department of State and Regional Development lists fourteen regions in New South Wales.

Far South Coast, Central Coast, Central West, Greater Western Sydney, Far West, The Hunter, Illawarra, Mid North Coast, Murray, New England - North West, Northern Rivers, Orana, Riverina, and Sydney [6]

Department of Local Government[]

The Department of Local Government lists twelve regions

Central West, Mid North Coast, North Western, Far West, Murray, Richmond Tweed, Hunter, Murrumbidgee, South Eastern, Illawarra, Northern, and Sydney Surrounds [7]

Department of Planning[]

The Department of Planning divides New South Wales into seven regions:

Alpine region, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra, South Coast, North Coast, Western NSW [8]

Department of Health[]

The New South Wales Health Department divided New South Wales into 8 separate regions, called 'Area Health Services'. These are

  • Area Health Services in Metropolitan NSW
    • Northern Sydney/Central Coast
    • South East Sydney/Illawarra
    • Sydney South West
    • Sydney West
  • Area Health Services in Rural NSW
    • Greater Southern
    • Greater Western
    • Hunter New England
    • North Coast

New South Wales Police Force[]

The New South Wales Police Force is organised into approximately 81 local area commands, which are aggregated into six regions:

  • Central Metro Region
  • North West Metro Region
  • Northern Region
  • South West Metro Region
  • Southern Region
  • Western Region

New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service[]

This New South Wales government agency subdivides the State into 17 bioregions based on ecological factors. These bioregions extend into neighbouring States.

Australia Travel[]

Yet another subdivision of New South Wales into Regions is as follows:

  • Sydney
  • Central Coast
  • Hunter
  • Blue Mountains
  • Snowy Mountains
  • Illawarra
  • South Coast
  • Capital Country (similar to Southern Tablelands in other lists)
  • Northern Rivers
  • North Coast NSW (which is actually what other lists call the Mid North Coast)
  • New England North West (Northern Tablelands and North West Slopes)[9]
  • Central New South Wales
  • Riverina
  • The Murray
  • Outback New South Wales

This classification subdivides the most commonly accepted notion of "The Riverina" into two separate regions, "Riverina" and "The Murray".

See also[]

  • Regional Organisations of Councils
  • NSW Regional Organisations of Councils
  • Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils


  1. ^ a b c d 1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) - Electronic Publication, 2005 Australian Bureau of Statistics website, accessed 13 November 2006
  2. ^ 1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2001: Statistical Divisions Structure Australian Bureau of Statistics, accessed 12 November 2006
  3. ^ 1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2001: Purpose and structure Australian Bureau of Statistics, accessed 12 November 2006
  4. ^ 1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2001: The spatial units Australian Bureau of Statistics, accessed 12 November 2006
  5. ^ "Regional map". Bureau of Meteorology (Australia). Retrieved 2006-11-12. 
  6. ^ "Regional New South Wales". Department of State and Regional Development. Retrieved 2006-11-13. 
  7. ^ Local Areas In NSW - Regional Map Department of Local Government website, accessed 13 November 2006
  8. ^ Regional Planning NSW Department of Planning website, accessed 13 November 2006
  9. ^ New England North West Retrieved 2009-10-14

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Regions of New South Wales. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.