Regions of New South Wales

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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.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Viticulture science, production and study of grapes

Viticulture or winegrowing is the cultivation and harvesting of grapes. It is a branch of the science of horticulture. While the native territory of Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, ranges from Western Europe to the Persian shores of the Caspian Sea, the vine has demonstrated high levels of adaptability to new environments. For this reason, viticulture can be found on every continent except Antarctica.


Local government

In New South Wales on the third tier of elected government after the federal and state governments are the local government authorities, which are responsible for the local government areas. The types of LGAs in New South Wales are cities, municipalities, shires and regions.

Local government in Australia is the third tier of government in Australia administered by the states and territories, which in turn are beneath the federal tier. Local government is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia and two referenda in the 1970s and 1980s to alter the Constitution relating to local government were unsuccessful. Every state government recognises local government in their respective constitutions. Unlike Canada or the United States, there is only one level of local government in each state, with no distinction such as cities and counties.

City Large and permanent human settlement

A city is a large human settlement. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process.

Municipality An administrative division having corporate status and usually some powers of self-government or jurisdiction

A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished (usually) from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns, villages and hamlets.

New South Wales has more than 150 local government areas [1] which have an elected council and carry out various functions delegated to them by the Government of New South Wales.

Government of New South Wales state government of New South Wales, Australia

The Government of New South Wales, also referred to as the New South Wales Government or NSW Government, is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of New South Wales. It is currently held by a coalition of the Liberal Party and the National Party. The Government of New South Wales, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, was formed in 1856 as prescribed in its Constitution, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, New South Wales has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, New South Wales ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has moved towards a new Geographical Classification called the Australian Statistical Geography Standard. [2] Geography is now divided into Statistical Area Level 1, 2, 3, and 4. Statistical Area Level 4 is the highest (regions of a State) and Statistical Area Level 1 being the lower (Mesh blocks are more refined but not readily available apart from the Census of Population and Housing).

Population by Statistical Area Level 4 and 3
NSW rankStatistical Area Level 4 and 3Population December 2014 [3] 10 year growth ratePopulation density (people/km2)
1Greater Sydney 4,840,62815.7391.4
2 Newcastle and Lake Macquarie 368,1319.0423.1
3 Illawarra 296,8459.3192.9
4 Hunter Valley excluding Newcastle264,08716.212.3
5 Richmond Tweed 242,1168.923.6
6Capital region220,94410.94.3
7 Mid North Coast 212,7879.211.3
8 Central West 209,8507.93.0
9New England and North West186,2625.31.9
10 Riverina 158,1444.72.8
11Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven146,38810.421.8
12Coffs Harbour-Grafton136,4187.610.3
13Far West and Orana119,7420.30.4
New South Wales7,518,47210.413.0

For older statistics, such as the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, 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. [4] 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. [4] 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. [4] The basis for the boundary delineations center on socioeconomic criteria. [4] The thirteen divisions for New South Wales are:

Social characteristic of living organisms

Living organisms including humans are social when they live collectively in interacting populations, whether they are aware of it, and whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary.

Central West, Far West, Hunter, Illawarra, Mid-North Coast, Murray, Murrumbidgee, North Western, Northern, Off-Shore Areas & Migratory, Richmond-Tweed, South Eastern, Sydney [5]

Statistical Regions

The Statistical Region (SR) structure was established in 1986 as a means for labor force analysis. [6]

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. [7] 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)

Biogeographic regions

IBRA 6.1 regions map IBRA 6.1 regions.png
IBRA 6.1 regions map

The Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) is a biogeographic regionalisation of Australia; divided into 89 bioregions and 419 subregions. Each region is a land area made up of a group of interacting ecosystems that are repeated in similar form across the landscape. Regions and subregion cross state and territory boundaries. The bioregions that are located within all or part of New South Wales include: [8]

Informal divisions

Despite being geographically in the Hunter Region, Port Stephens Council includes itself in the Mid North Coast for commercial purposes. This sign, welcoming travellers to the Mid North Coast, is only 900 m (2,953 ft) from the Hunter River on the Pacific Highway at Tomago. Welcome to Mid North Coast at Tomago.jpg
Despite being geographically in the Hunter Region, Port Stephens Council includes itself in the Mid North Coast for commercial purposes. This sign, welcoming travellers to the Mid North Coast, is only 900 m (2,953 ft) from the Hunter River on the Pacific Highway at Tomago.

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 Ministry 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:

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, and in some cases, subregions:

Informal divisions of New South Wales
Region nameSubregion nameComments
North Coast Mid North Coast North of Seal Rocks to as far north as Woolgoolga.
Northern Rivers North of Woolgoolga to the Queensland border.
Central Coast Central CoastNorth of the Hawkesbury River to as far north as Lake Macquarie.
Hunter 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 NewcastleLake Macquarie conurbation.
South Coast Illawarra Between Royal National Park and Gerroa.
South CoastSouth of Gerroa to the Victorian border.
Northern Tablelands New England Includes the towns and districts of Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Guyra, Inverell, Armidale and Walcha. [9] [10]
Northern Tablelands
Central Tablelands Greater Blue Mountains Area Generally that area west of the Nepean River and east of Lithgow, stretching to Capertee Valley in the north, and Wombeyan Caves in the south. The majority of the region is contained within a series of national parks.
Central West Generally that region centred around the cities of Bathurst and Orange and the three large towns Cowra, Parkes and Lithgow and other smaller centres which include Oberon, Mudgee, and Forbes, and other small towns and villages,
Southern Tablelands Southern Highlands Generally that region centered around the towns of Mittagong, Bowral, Moss Vale, Bundanoon and Robertson, as well as the historic town of Berrima.
Capital Country Taking in the region surround Canberra, including the cities of Queanbeyan and Goulburn and the towns of Crookwell, Yass and Young.
Snowy Mountains Monaro The main towns in the region are Cooma, Jindabyne, Berridale and Bombala.
North-West Slopes
South-West Slopes Riverina Lies in the central south of the State, around the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Lachlan rivers. This region may, or may not, include the South-West Slopes, depending on the context.
South-West Slopes
Orana Far West Its only city is Broken Hill and other significant towns are Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, Ivanhoe and Wentworth.
Orana/Western PlainsThe major localities are Dubbo, Cobar and Mudgee. [11]
Sydney Metropolitan Greater Western Sydney A broad region within Sydney's metropolitan area that conjoins the north-west, south-west, central-west, and far western sub-regions of Sydney. Encompassing 13 local government areas, its major districts include Liverpool, Blacktown, Fairfield, Parramatta, Bankstown, Auburn and Penrith, among others. [12]

Specific uses of regions for different purposes

Weather forecasting

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology divides New South Wales into sixteen districts. [13]

  1. Northern Rivers
  2. Mid North Coast
  3. Hunter
  4. Northern Tablelands
  5. Sydney Metropolitan
  6. Illawarra
  7. South Coast
  8. Central Tablelands
  9. Southern Tablelands
  10. Snowy Mountains
  11. North West Slopes & Plains
  12. Central West Slopes & Plains
  13. South West Slopes
  14. Riverina
  15. Lower Western
  16. Upper Western

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 [14]

Office of Local Government

The Office of Local Government listed twelve regions: [15]

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

Local governments 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. There are thirteen networks of regional organisation, in addition to the six networks in Greater Metropolitan Sydney: [16]

  • Canberra Region, Central NSW, Far North West, Far South West, Hunter, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Mid North Coast, Namoi, New England, Northern Rivers, Orana, Riverina and Murray, and Riverina.
  • Shore Region, Central Coast Region, Macarthur Region, Northern Sydney Region, Southern Sydney Region, Western Sydney Region, Sydney Coastal.

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 [17]

Ministry of Health

The New South Wales Ministry of Health divided New South Wales into fifteen separate regions, called Local Health Districts. These are:

  • Metropolitan Local Health Districts
    • Central Coast
    • Illawarra Shoalhaven
    • Nepean Blue Mountains
    • Northern Sydney
    • South Eastern Sydney
    • South Western Sydney
    • Sydney
    • Western Sydney
  • Rural & Regional NSW Local Health Districts
    • Far West
    • Hunter New England
    • Mid North Coast
    • Murrumbidgee
    • Northern NSW
    • Southern NSW
    • Western NSW

Additionally, a small number of non-geographic specialty networks cover paediatric health, justice and forensic health, and the St' Vincent's Health network.

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

The NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service uses the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia 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:

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

See also

Related Research Articles

Hunter Region Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Hunter Region, also commonly known as the Hunter Valley, is a region of New South Wales, Australia, extending from approximately 120 km (75 mi) to 310 km (193 mi) north of Sydney. It contains the Hunter River and its tributaries with highland areas to the north and south. Situated at the northern end of the Sydney Basin bioregion, the Hunter Valley is one of the largest river valleys on the NSW coast, and is most commonly known for its wineries and coal industry.

Illawarra Region in New South Wales, Australia

Illawarra is a region in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is a coastal region situated immediately south of Sydney and north of the Shoalhaven or South Coast region. It encompasses the cities of Wollongong, Shellharbour and the town of Kiama.

CountryLink former operator of passenger rail and road services in country New South Wales, Australia

CountryLink was an Australian passenger rail and road service brand operating in regional New South Wales, as well as to Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne. Originally created as a business unit of the State Rail Authority of New South Wales, it later became a subsidiary of RailCorp, a Government of New South Wales entity. CountryLink operated rail services using XPT and Xplorer rolling stock, with connecting coach services operated under contract by private operators.

Riverina Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Riverina is an agricultural region of South-Western New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The Riverina is distinguished from other Australian regions by the combination of flat plains, warm to hot climate and an ample supply of water for irrigation. This combination has allowed the Riverina to develop into one of the most productive and agriculturally diverse areas of Australia. Bordered on the south by the state of Victoria and on the east by the Great Dividing Range, the Riverina covers those areas of New South Wales in the Murray and Murrumbidgee drainage zones to their confluence in the west.

Unanderra railway station

Unanderra is an intercity train station located in Unanderra, New South Wales, Australia, on the South Coast railway line.

Geography of New South Wales

New South Wales is Australia's most populous state, located in the east coast of the continent. It is in the southern hemisphere between latitudes 28 and 38 degrees south of the equator and longitudes 143 and 154 degrees east of the Universal Prime Meridian. The state is in the warm temperate climatic zone.

Regions of Queensland geographic areas of Queensland, Australia

The Regions of Queensland refer to the geographic areas of the Australian state of Queensland. Due to its large size and decentralised population, the state is often divided into regions for statistical and administrative purposes. Each region varies somewhat in terms of its economy, population, climate, geography, flora and fauna. Cultural and official perceptions and definitions of the various regions differ somewhat depending on the government agency or popular group by which they are being applied.

South Coast (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

The South Coast refers to the narrow coastal belt from Sydney in the north to the border with Victoria in the south in the south-eastern part of the State of New South Wales, Australia. It is bordered to the west by the coastal escarpment of the Southern Tablelands, and is largely covered by a series of national parks, namely Jervis Bay National Park, Eurobodalla National Park, and Ben Boyd National Park. To the east is the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, which is characterised by rolling farmlands, small towns and villages along a rocky coastline, interspersed by numerous beaches and lakes.

The North West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia refers generally to the area west of the Northern Tablelands, to the north of the Central West region and to the east of the Far West region. The region corresponds generally to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's forecast area of North West Slopes and Plains.

The Central Tablelands in New South Wales is a geographic area that lies between the Sydney Metropolitan Area and the Central Western Slopes and Plains. The Great Dividing Range passes in a north–south direction through the Central Tablelands and includes the Blue Mountains. The region shares borders with the Hunter, Central West Slopes and Plains, Southern Tablelands, North Western Slopes and Plains, the Sydney Metropolitan Area and the Illawarra.

NSW Business Chamber

NSW Business Chamber is NSW's peak business organisation providing businesses with information, advice, products and services. The organisation has a membership of over 20,200 and 119 Chambers of Commerce in NSW and the ACT.

The regions of Victoria vary according to the different ways that the Australian state of Victoria is divided into distinct geographic regions. The most commonly-used regions are those created by the state government for the purposes of economic development.

New South Wales has 17 Regional Organisations of Councils (ROCs) which are voluntary groupings of councils in Australia. ROCs usually involve collaborative partnerships between neighbouring councils in a particular region or area.

The 2011 Wollongong floods, beginning in March 2011, were a series of floods occurring throughout Wollongong and the Illawarra regions of New South Wales, Australia. The floods were the result of a storm cell covering most of the southern regions of the state and torrential rain in suburban Sydney and nearby regional areas.

Country Cricket New South Wales, is responsible for the development of cricket in regional New South Wales. It is under control of the governing body Cricket NSW.

NSW TrainLink is an Australian brand for the medium and long distance passenger rail and coach services in New South Wales. It operates services throughout New South Wales and into the neighbouring states and territories of Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. Train services are operated by the government's NSW Trains. Coach services are contracted to private operators. It is an agency of Transport for NSW.

In the Australian state of Tasmania, 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 Furneaux Islands, the coastline, or the Central Highlands. Alternatively, the characteristics may be cultural, such as a viticulture land use. Tasmania is divided by numerous regional boundaries, based on different characteristics. In many cases boundaries defined by different government agencies are coterminous and are often cited by the Australian and local media that tend to distinguish between North West, West Coast, Southern, and East Coast.

In South Australia, one of the states of 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, desert or mountains. Alternatively, the characteristics may be cultural, such as common land use. South Australia is divided by numerous sets of regional boundaries, based on different characteristics. In many cases boundaries defined by different agencies are coterminous.


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