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About my region - Australian Capital Territory

​​​​​​About my region is a series of individual profiles of the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries in your region. This regional profile presents an overview of the agriculture and forestry sectors in the Australian Capital Territory.

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Regional overview

The Australian Capital Territory includes the major centres of Belconnen, Canberra, Gungahlin and Tuggeranong. The region covers a total area of around 2,431 square kilometres or 0.03 per cent of Australia's total area and is home to approximately 411,700 people (ABS 2018). Jervis Bay is not included in the Australian Capital Territory region in this report.

Agricultural land in the Australian Capital Territory occupies 370 square kilometres, or about 15 per cent of the region. Areas classified as conservation and natural environments (nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use) occupy 1,510 square kilometres, or 64 per cent of the region. The most common land use by area is nature conservation, which occupies 1,350 square kilometres or 57 per cent of the Australian Capital Territory (ABARES 2016).

Broad land use in the Australian Capital Territory
Shows a map of broad land use in the Australian Capital Territory. It includes a legend which shows the broad land use categories— nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use; grazing native vegetation; production forestry; grazing modified pastures; plantation forestry; cropping; horticulture; intensive uses and water. This map is discussed in the above paragraph.
Source: Catchment scale land use of Australia - Update December 2018

Employment

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the February 2019 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 227,200 people were employed in the Australian Capital Territory.

Public administration and safety was the largest employment sector with 65,900 people, followed by health care and social assistance with 25,200 people and professional, scientific and technical services 24,200 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were education and training; retail trade; and accommodation and food services. The agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector employed 300 people, representing less than 1 per cent of the region's workforce.

Employment profile, Australian Capital Territory, February 2019
Shows the number of people employed in the Australian Capital Territory by industry in thousands. The figure is discussed in the previous two paragraphs.
Note: Annual average of the preceding 4 quarters.
Source: Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, cat. no. 6291.0, Labour Force, Australia 2019

Agricultural sector

Value of agricultural production

In 2017–18, the gross value of agricultural production in the Australian Capital Territory was $11 million, which was less than 1 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Australia ($59 billion).

The most important commodities in the Australian Capital based on the gross value of agricultural production were cattle and calves ($2.4 million), followed by wool ($1.2 million) and poultry ($1.2 million). These commodities together contributed 45 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region.

Value of agricultural production, Australian Capital Territory, 2017–18
Shows the gross value of agricultural production in the region in millions of dollars. The figure is discussed in the previous three paragraphs.
Note: The graph shows only data published by the ABS. Some values were not published by the ABS to ensure confidentiality.
The "Other commodities" category includes the total value of commodities not published as well as those with small values.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, cat. no. 7503.0, Value of agricultural commodities produced, Australia 2019

Number and type of farms

ABS data indicate that in 2016–17 there were 36 farms in the Australian Capital Territory with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The territory contains less than 1 per cent of all farm businesses in Australia.

Number of farms, by industry classification, Australian Capital Territory, 2016–17
Industry classificationAustralian Capital TerritoryAustralia
Number of farms% of RegionNumber of farmsContribution of region to state total %
Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)             1542.0       24,2100.1
Sheep-Beef Cattle Farming               924.8         4,9700.2
Sheep Farming (Specialised)               513.8         8,3870.1
Horse Farming               38.3         2,1720.1
Other               411.0       47,7540
Total agriculture              36 100        87,493 0

Note: Estimated value of agricultural operations $40,000 or more. Industries that constitute less than 1 per cent of the region's industry are not shown.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Farms in the table above are classified according to the activities that generate most of their value of production. Beef cattle farms (15 farms) were the most common, accounting for 42 per cent of all farms in the Australian Capital Territory, and less than 1 per cent of all beef cattle farms in Australia.

Estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) is a measure of the value of production from farms and a measure of their business size. Around 64 per cent of farms in the Australian Capital Territory region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for 17 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2016–17. In comparison, 20 per cent of farms in the territory had an EVAO of more than $500,000 and accounted for an estimated 70 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Australian Capital Territory in 2016–17.

Distribution of farms by estimated value of agricultural operations, Australian Capital Territory, 2016–17
Shows share of farms and share of value of agricultural operations in the Australian Capital Territory. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraph.
Note: Only farms with EVAO of $50,000 or more in 2016–17 are included in these data. The scope of ABS Rural Environment and Agricultural Collections changed in 2015–16 to include only agricultural businesses with an EVAO of $40,000 or greater.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Forestry sector

In 2015–16, the total plantation area in the Australian Capital Territory was 7,400 hectares, comprised solely of softwood plantations. The main species planted is radiata pine (Pinus radiata).

In 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, there were 128,400 hectares of native forests in the Australian Capital Territory region, comprised mainly of Eucalypt medium open (86,500 hectares) and Eucalypt medium woodland (29,700 hectares) forest types. There were 114,900 hectares of the native forests in nature conservation reserves and 8,900 hectares were leasehold.

From 2010–11 log harvest volumes and values for the Australian Capital Territory are included in the New South Wales state figures.
Sales and service income for the Australian Capital Territory forest and wood product industry was not reported in 2015–16.

In 2016, the Australian Capital Territory forestry sector employed 384 workers (0.2 per cent of the total employed workforce in the Australian Capital Territory) compared with 502 (0.3 per cent) in 2011. The number of people employed includes the following categories: forestry, logging, support services, timber wholesaling; and wood, pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing.

Area of native forest, by tenure, Australian Capital Territory
Shows the area of native forest, by tenure in the region in thousand hectares. This figure is discussed in the above paragraph.
Source: Australia's State of the Forests Report 2013

References

ABARES 2016, Land Use of Australia 2010–11, ABARES, Canberra, May.

ABARES 2018, Catchment scale land use of Australia – December 2018, Canberra, December.

ABS 2018, Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2017, cat. no. 3235.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 19 September 2017.

ABS 2019a Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Feb 2019, cat. no. 6291.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 03 April 2019.

ABS 2019b Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2017-18, cat. no. 7503.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 15 May 2019.

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Last reviewed:
06 Jun 2019