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Rural Addressing

What is Rural Addressing?

Rural addressing is a distance based numbering system used for determining address numbers in rural and semi-rural areas. It is based on the distance of the access point from the road number starting point (known as the datum point). This distance is measured in metres and then divided by 10 - after which the number is then rounded to the nearest odd number (for points on the left side of the road from the datum point), or nearest even number (for points on the right side of the road). Refer to Figure 1 for an example.

Fig 1. Distance based numbering

How does Council determine rural addresses?

Rural addresses have been determined NSW state government Land and Property Information (LPI) using geographic information systems and aerial photography. Council is responsible for verifying the addresses in conjunction with property owners. This is done by sending each property owner a letter advising of the proposed rural address for each individual property together with a form that can be used to notify council of incorrect or missing address points.

What should I do with my new Rural Address?

Displaying Rural Numbers

The Rural Number in your address is your new property number and land owners are responsible for displaying the property number. It is recommended that a sign with the Rural Number is installed next to your property’s primary entrance point as marked on your map.  If you display your farm number near your entrance, it is advisable to distinguish the difference between your two numbers for ease of identification.  For example, ‘Farm 1234’, ‘RA 456’. 

As a guideline Rural Address signs should have numbers large enough to be clearly visible from the road. Black numbers on a white background provides the best contrast and is therefore recommended.

Notify service providers

You will need to inform all of your service providers and utility providers of your new address.  This includes licences, bank accounts, etc.

Submit a change of details application with council if you are changing your postal address

If you wish to use this address for postal services please complete a Change of Details Application available from Councils Benerembah Street Office or Webpage. Where Australia Post offers a mail delivery service it is important that letterboxes comply with Australia Post guidelines, available from Australia Post web site (search for “letterbox security and specification - Australia Post”).

Why is Rural Addressing needed?

Currently, rural addresses are made up from all different types of identification and descriptions.  Farm names, lot and DP numbers, post office RMB numbers and water allocation numbers are just a few ways people identify their property to other people.  This has caused delays and inconvenience for emergency services and the delivery of goods and services to the rural community.  Rural addressing provides a standardised means of locating rural properties throughout Australia with a system that is accurate, easy to understand and easy to apply.

What standards apply to Rural Addresses?

Rural addressing provides a standardised means of locating rural properties with an authoritative address complies with Australian/New Zealand Standard for Rural and urban addressing AS/NZS 4819:2011 and the NSW Addressing User Manual produced by. These documents are referenced at the end of this fact sheet.

Who is driving Rural Addressing?

Rural addressing is a collaborative community project administered by Land and Property Information (LPI, a division of the NSW Government Office of Finance and Services)  and local councils, and is supported by all emergency services and Australia Post.  Currently about 90% of affected councils within NSW are actively engaged in the Rural Addressing project.

Which properties will receive rural addresses?

At this stage Council is concentrating on properties with residential developments or industrial facilities such as packing sheds and workshops.

What if I have already been issued with a rural number?

The methodology used to determine Rural Addresses has changed to comply with The NSW Addressing Manual and Australian standards and in some cases the datum points used to calculate rural addresses have been shifted. Council is therefore reallocating rural addresses to maintain consistency across the local government area. The address shown in the notification letter is the official address and it supersedes any previously allocated rural address.

What if I already have an urban number / street number?

LPI has determined addresses in accordance with the NSW Addressing Manual which specifies that if the road name is the same in both the rural and urban areas the rural numbering method shall continue through the urban area. This prevents inconsistent numbering on affected roads.

What happens to my Farm Number?

Most farm numbers in our Local Government Area are derived from irrigation allocation numbers.  They represent an irrigation licence, not a property address and are not allocated nor maintain by Griffith City Council.  If multiple farm lots operate under the one irrigation licence, they can have the same farm number. This can cause confusion and farm and lot numbers are not recognised as legitimate addresses by the NSW government addressing authorities.

However, farm names and farm numbers may still be used in conjunction with Rural Addressing.  The farm name or farm number can be treated as a property description, whilst the Rural Address remains as the authoritative property address.

I have more than one property with a residential or industrial development but I have received a letter advising me of a new rural address for only one of them - what happens in this case?

Griffith City Council is rolling out rural addressing on a locality by locality basis over the next 18 Months. You will eventually get a letter for each property with a residential or industrial development that you own.

If I lease my property will the tenants need to know the address for that property?

Yes. You should provide the tenant with the new rural address details including the GPS co-ordinates, the distance and side of road. This will assist your tenant in case they require emergency assistance or other services.

Who will council notify?

Council will notify LPI (Land and Property Information, NSW State Government),The Valuer General, Australia Post and Telstra. LPI provides the addressing information to State and Federal Government organisations such as Roads and Maritime Services (RMS, formerly the RTA) and Emergency Services.

I have a Post Office box number as my mailing address already. Do I have to change it?

If you have a Post Office box or another residence as your primary mailing address, it will still be your mailing address. Only your property address details will change.  If you intend on receiving your mail to your property, you will need to supply your new Rural Address as your postal address to the relevant providers.

Council is changing my address so why would I have to submit a change of details form if I wish to use it for my postal address?

Council is unable to change postal details without express permission of property owners. This is managed through the Change of Details Application form available from Councils Benerembah Street Office or Webpage. If you have alternate mail delivery arrangements such as a PO Box or holding address there is no need to submit this form.

What if I don’t want to use my new Rural Address?  What would happen?

The new Rural Address issued to your occupied property is now the authoritative, compliant and recognised address for that property.  Farm numbers, lot numbers and farm names are not considered to be compliant addresses under the NSW Addressing User Manual.

 The compliant address will filter through to service providers over time and be incorporated into their systems.  No service providers will change your address held against your name without your permission.  However, in the long term residents not using their authoritative property address may experience service delivery delays, inconveniences or be denied access to a service.

In an emergency event, lack of the use of a Rural Address and clear Rural Number signs may result in a delayed response time.

Can I change my Rural Address?

If you would like to change something with your allcoated Rural Address please visit one of our friendly customer service officers to log your inquiry.

Notify Organisations of your new address

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NSW Addressing User Manual
(Free Download)

Australian/New Zealand Standard™  AS/NZS 4819:2011: Rural and urban addressing
(available for purchase from SAI Global)


Change of Address Form