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 sector in the Gold Coast region and the recent Queensland financial performance of the broadacre, beef, grains, dairy and vegetable industries.
The Gold Coast region of Queensland is located in the south–east corner of the state. The region comprises the local government areas of Gold Coast and part of Scenic Rim. The region covers a total area of around 1,900 square kilometres, or less than 1 per cent of Queensland's total area, and is home to approximately 606,300 people (ABS 2018).
Agricultural land in the Gold Coast region occupies 600 square kilometres, or 32 per cent of the region. Areas classified as conservation and natural environments (nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use) occupy 640 square kilometres, or 35 per cent of the region. The most common land use by area is grazing native vegetation, which occupies 390 square kilometres or 21 per cent of the Gold Coast region (ABARES 2016).
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the February 2019 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 343,100 people were employed in the Gold Coast. The region accounts for 14 per cent of total employment in Queensland and 3 per cent of all people employed in the Queensland agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.
Health care and social assistance was the largest employment sector with 47,300 people, followed by retail trade with 43,300 people, and accommodation and food services with 38,500 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were construction; education and training; and manufacturing. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 1,700 people, representing less than 1 per cent of the region's workforce.
Value of agricultural production
In 2017–18, the gross value of agricultural production in the Gold Coast region was $74 million, which was 1 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Queensland ($13 billion).
The most important commodities in the region based on the gross value of agricultural production were mushrooms ($36 million), followed by nurseries ($12 million) and sugarcane ($10 million). These commodities together contributed 79 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region.
Number and type of farms
ABS data indicate that in 2016–17 there were 160 farms in the Gold Coast region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains about 1 per cent of all farm businesses in Queensland.
Number of farms, by industry classification, Gold Coast region, 2016–17
|Industry classification||Gold Coast region||Queensland|
|Number of farms||% of Region||Number of farms||Contribution of region to state total %|
|Sugar Cane Growing||47||29.1||3,115||1.5|
|Nursery Production (Under Cover)||22||14.0||112||20.1|
|Vegetable Growing (Under Cover)||17||10.6||39||43.5|
|Nursery Production (Outdoors)||16||10.1||138||11.6|
|Other Fruit and Tree Nut Growing||15||9.5||762||2.0|
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. Sugar cane farms (47 farms) were the most common, accounting for 29 per cent of all farms in the Gold Coast region, and 2 per cent of all Sugar cane farms in Queensland.
Estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) is a measure of the value of production from farms and a measure of their business size. Around 54 per cent of farms in the Gold Coast region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 14 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2016–17. In comparison, 8 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $1 million and accounted for an estimated 38 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Gold Coast region in 2016–17.
Farm financial performance
Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, dairy and vegetable farms in Queensland.
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 10 January 2019.
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.