Since 1993, only local government areas in New South Wales can be declared as "cities" by the Government, under the Local Government Act 1993. Although the present version of the Act specifies no criteria for city status, a previous version of the Act specified that to be a city, a Council area must:
(a) have a population of at least 25,000 persons and be an independent centre of population; not being a suburb, whether residential, industrial, commercial or maritime, of any other council area or centre of population; or
(b) have a population of at least 150,000, and have a distinct character and entity as a centre of population beyond what would normally be regarded as being of local or suburban significance only; or
(c) satisfy the criteria specified in paragraphs (a) or (b) apart from the population criteria, and be a homogenous centre of importance as a focus of regional commercial, governmental or cultural activity beyond that which would normally be regarded as local, suburban, or subsidiary to another nearby centre.
New South Wales, therefore, has two types of "city": cities that are acknowledged on the register of the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales, and local government areas that have been proclaimed as cities but are not acknowledged on the Geographical Names Register.
Cities acknowledged on the NSW Geographical Names Register