Australian regions

This section covers:

Australian conventions and resources

Political regions

The Australian Electoral Commission lists federal electorates.

Websites of the state and territory governments provide lists of state and territory electorates.

Statistical regions

The Australian Bureau of Statistics provides statistics on specific geographical regions of Australia.

Environmental regions

The Bureau of Meteorology provides weather forecasts on a regional basis.

The Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) is a framework of bioregions used in conservation.

The Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA) provides a regionalisation of Australia’s waters from the coast to the edge of the exclusive economic zone.

The Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research at the Australian National Herbarium lists botanical districts of Australia.

General principles for Australian regions

Regions have been defined across Australia for various purposes – political, economic, statistical, agricultural and environmental. Some have been defined by national bodies; others have been established at a state or territory level. Use initial capitals and retain the official spelling; however, punctuation can be changed to comply with editorial style – for example, by replacing a hyphen between 2 words with an en dash:

Goldfields–Esperance   not   Goldfields-Esperance

See En dash for more details on when to use an en dash.

Use lower case for the terms statistical area and local government area in a general context, but use initial capitals when referring to a specific area:

The Australian Capital Territory is divided into 9 level 3 statistical areas.

Belconnen Statistical Area   or   Belconnen SA3

Hobart Local Government Area   or   Hobart LGA

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State and territory regions

Within a state or territory, the same name is often used in a number of different regional systems; however, the boundaries will usually differ.

For example, the government in Western Australia established 9 regions for economic development:

Gascoyne     Goldfields-Esperance     Great Southern     Kimberley     Mid West     Peel     Pilbara     South West     Wheatbelt

[Retain 2 words in South West, and do not insert a hyphen; however, the hyphen in Goldfields-Esperance can be replaced with an en dash.]

The Western Australian Department of Water has 8 regions for reporting about water, but only 3 of these (Kimberley, Pilbara and South West) are also used for economic development:

Goldfields     Kimberley     Kwinana Peel     Mid West Gascoyne     Pilbara     South Coast     South West     Swan‑Avon

Also in Western Australia, there are 14 Bureau of Meteorology forecast areas, 26 IBRA regions (some crossing state borders) and 21 floristic regions. The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines 9 major statistical areas (SA4) in Western Australia. For electoral purposes, Western Australia has 15 federal electorates. At a state level, there are 6 regions for election to the upper house of parliament (Agricultural, East Metropolitan, Mining and Pastoral, North Metropolitan, South Metropolitan and South West) and 59 electorates for the lower house.

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