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 correct address.
A correct and complete address is vital to provide quick identification and location of your property in case of emergency.
Checking your correct address
A complete location address requires an address number, a road name, a locality (suburb) name and a state or territory name, e.g. 867 Main Street, Woolloongabba, Queensland.
The main access, or where access is most likely to occur for a visitor from a road to the address site (e.g. front door or driveway) determines the primary address. A secondary address can also be recorded for additional access points to the property.
You can search for your correct address online or contact your local council. They can confirm your street and locality name and clarify the primary address of your property if you’ve got multiple street frontages.
Note: ‘Locality’ is generally used in rural areas, and ‘suburb’ in urban areas.
Lot numbers are no longer accepted as official addresses. If you own or live on a rural property, it’s important to contact your local council to obtain a rural address.
Your council 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 addressing is continuous for the full length of the road across local government boundaries (for roads less than 1,000km long).
To obtain a new rural address, contact your local government. Usually, they will also supply and install a post at the entrance to display the address number (fees may apply).
The national requirements for locality addresses are detailed in the Australian/New Zealand Standard for Rural and Urban Addressing (AS4819:2011). This standard provides guidance on assigning addresses, naming roads and locations, signage use and recording and mapping information.
Local governments are responsible for naming roads (except for state-controlled roads), maintaining a roads register, and assigning address numbers to properties along those roads (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).
State-controlled roads are named by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, but the addresses on these roads are allocated by the local council.
The names and boundaries of localities and suburbs are assigned Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) with the help of local councils. 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 contained by, is the locality that should be assigned to the address.