How addresses are determined
Location addresses are the main way of identifying and locating properties. As a community, we rely on them for a broad range of services, especially emergency response. This page explains how addresses are determined and how to check your address.
A correct and complete address is vital to provide quick identification and location of your property in case of emergency.
Checking your address
A complete location address requires, at a minimum, an address number, a road name, a locality (suburb) name and a state or territory name, e.g. 1 William Street, Brisbane City, Queensland.
The main access, or where access is most likely to occur for a visitor from the road (or water) network to the address site (e.g. front door or driveway) determines the 'primary' address. An 'alternative' address can also be recorded for additional access points to the property.
You can also contact your local government who can confirm your street number and name, and clarify the primary address of your property if you have multiple street frontages.
It should be noted that local governments are the recognised authority for allocation and approval of road names and numbering. The Department of Resources generally only accepts addressing data that has been verified by local government.
Lot numbers are no longer an accepted component of an address. If you own or live on a rural property, it is important to contact your local government to obtain a rural address number.
Your local government will assign an address using a distance-based system. The numbers will be based on how far (in metres) your property’s entrance is from the road’s starting point (or datum), divided by 10. The starting point is usually an intersection or junction, but can also be the centre of a town.
Generally, a road is numbered from south to north or east to west. Odd numbers are given to properties on the left and even numbers to those on the right. Rural address numbering is continuous for the full length of the road (for roads less than 1,000km long), and may continue through multiple local government areas.
To obtain a new rural address, contact your local government. Usually, they will also supply and install a post at the access point to display the address number (fees may apply).
The national requirements for location addresses are detailed in the Australian/New Zealand Standard for Rural and Urban Addressing (AS/NZS 4819:2011). This standard includes guidance on assigning addresses and naming roads.
Local governments are responsible for naming roads (except for state-controlled roads) and maintaining a roads register (including roads in private estates and gated communities). The Standard for Rural and Urban Addressing has guidelines for the use of road terms (e.g. avenue, boulevard, street) and lists abbreviations for road types.
State-controlled roads are named by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, but the addresses on these roads are usually allocated by the local government.
Local government may also have a local name for a part of a state-controlled road through a town or urban area. The local road name is usually utilised in addresses along this part of the road.
The names and boundaries of localities and suburbs are assigned by the Department of Resources after consultation with local government and other stakeholders. Suburbs are localities of generally urban character and may be referred to as localities. Find out more about how places are named.
Locality boundaries should be followed when assigning addresses. Generally, the locality in which the property to be addressed is accessed from, is the locality that should be assigned to the address.