[talk-au] Local Government Areas without Councils

cleary osm at 97k.com
Tue Dec 20 22:15:38 UTC 2016

I have been adding administrative boundaries in NSW and SA using the
Government data for which OSM has been given explicit permission. I am
currently working on the "Pastoral Unincorporated Area" in SA and
another mapper commented that it was inappropriate. I responded but my
response appears not to have satisfied the other mapper.  I then found
that the same mapper had deleted the "Unincorporated Area of New South
Wales" because it was not administered by a council.

Both of these "unincorporated" areas are defined and designated in the
respective government datasets, that is (1) South Australian Government
Data - Local Government Areas and (2) LPI NSW Administrative Boundaries
- Local Government. 

The issue for the other mapper appears to be the acceptability of the
form of governance of these areas. While the majority of local
government areas are administered by councils, this model works less
well in areas which are sparsely populated. The Pastoral Unincorporated
Area in South Australia is administered by a designated authority, the
Outback Communities Authority, which is not a council either in name or
in the usual sense. I am aware of three other designated local
government areas in South Australia that do not have councils - two are
administered by the indigenous residents although they appear to have
some form of executive committee to make routine decisions. One
designated local government area does not appear to have a council and I
have not ascertained the form of governance.  In the Unincorporated Area
of New South Wales, responsibilities are dispersed and do not rest with
any one body, for example roads are managed by the Roads and Maritime
Services (state authority) and there are local advisory committees in
some isolated communities. 

The key issue is whether the form of governance in an area should
determine whether or not areas should be mapped in OSM. It seems to me
to be akin to removing Northern Territory and ACT on the basis that they
have different forms of governance and are not proper states!

The comments on the Pastoral Unincorporated Area can be viewed at
The relation for the Pastoral Unincorporated Area is at
The deleted relation for Unincorporated Area of New South Wales is at
http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/5892272 and refers to Changeset

Do other members of the OSM community have a view on whether the form of
governance should determine what areas are shown on the map and
particularly whether local government areas should be included if they
are not administered by councils.

More information about the Talk-au mailing list