The Australian Government has published postcode as free and open data, allowing startups to use the location data without paying the government for its database.

The data is the country’s most comprehensive database of geo-coded addresses, containing over 13 million address records.

It is one of the “most requested and high-value datasets to the economy”, the Prime Minister’s Department said. Accurate location data is crucial for logistics, delivery, emergencies and government planning.

Previously, businesses needed to pay for a license to use the address data. This arrangement has been “highly restrictive” and “resulted in underutlisation of the data”, Helen Owens, Principal Adviser, Public Data, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has said.

The postcode data is now available on data.gov.au as a pipe separated value (psv) file, along with new boundaries data. Both will be updated every three months.