Lands administrative divisions of Australia

Cadastral divisions of Australia for land identification purposes / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Lands administrative divisions of Australia are the cadastral divisions of Australia for the purposes of identification of land to ensure security of land ownership. Most states term these divisions as counties, parishes, hundreds, and other terms. The eastern states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania were divided into counties and parishes in the 19th century, although the Tasmanian counties were renamed land districts in the 20th century. Parts of South Australia (south-east) and Western Australia (south-west) were similarly divided into counties, and there were also five counties in a small part of the Northern Territory. However South Australia has subdivisions of hundreds instead of parishes, along with the Northern Territory, which was part of South Australia when the hundreds were proclaimed. There were also formerly hundreds in Tasmania. There have been at least 600 counties, 544 hundreds and at least 15,692 parishes in Australia, but there are none of these units for most of the sparsely inhabited central and western parts of the country.

  No counties, parishes or hundreds
  Former counties, no further divisions
  Counties, divided into hundreds
  Counties, divided into parishes
  Districts, partially divided into suburbs. (ACT)
  Land districts (formerly counties), divided into parishes, and formerly with hundreds.
  Counties, divided into parishes, and formerly with hundreds also (Cumberland only)

Counties in Australia have little administrative and no political function, unlike those in England or the United States. Australia instead uses local government areas, including shires, districts, city councils, and municipalities according to the state, as the second-level subdivision.

1891 German map of south-eastern Australia showing many of the divisions.

Some other states were also divided into land divisions and land districts; in the nineteenth century, land districts sometimes served as the region name for parts of the state where counties had not been proclaimed yet. Below these are groups of land parcels known as deposited plans, registered plans or title plans (depending on the state). Queensland has registered plans; New South Wales and Western Australia have deposited plans; while Victoria has certified plans. Land can be identified using the number of this plan of subdivision held with the lands department, rather than with a named unit such as a parish (or both can be used); it has become more common to use only the plan number. Within these are individual land parcels such as lots; in total there are estimated to be about 10.2 million of these in Australia.[1] The various cadastral units appear on certificates of title, which are given volume and folio numbers; these numbers by themselves are sometimes used to identify land parcels, or in combination with the other units. Detailed maps of these divisions have been required since the introduction of the Torrens title system of a central register of land holdings in South Australia in 1858, which spread to the other colonies. While cadastral data since the 1980s has been digitalised, there remain many old maps showing these divisions held in collections of Australian libraries such as the National Library of Australia,[2] as well as in state libraries.[3]