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 Greater Perth region and the recent Western Australia financial performance of the broadacre, dairy, and vegetable industries.
The Greater Perth region comprises 31 local government areas. It includes the city of Perth and the regional centre of Mandurah. The region covers a total area of approximately 6,400 square kilometres or less than 1 per cent of Western Australia's total area and is home to approximately 2,039,000 people (ABS 2018).
Agricultural land in the Greater Perth region occupies 2,100 square kilometres, or 33 per cent of the region. Areas classified as conservation and natural environments (nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use) occupy 1,500 square kilometres, or 23 per cent of the region. The most common land use by area is Grazing modified pastures, which occupies 1,340 square kilometres or 21 per cent of the Greater Perth region (ABARES 2016).
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the February 2019 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 1.1 million people were employed in the Greater Perth Region. The region accounts for 79 per cent of total employment in Western Australia and 23 per cent of all people employed in the Western Australian agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.
Health care and social assistance was the largest employment sector with 139,700 people, followed by retail trade with 98,400 people, and construction with 94,800 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were professional, scientific and technical services; education and training; and mining. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 9,200 people, representing 1 per cent of the region's workforce.
Value of agricultural production
In 2017–18, the gross value of agricultural production in the Greater Perth region was $405 million, which was 5 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Western Australia ($8.6 billion).
The Greater Perth region has a diverse agricultural sector. The most important commodities in the region based on the gross value of agricultural production were nurseries ($53 million), followed by strawberries ($34 million) and eggs ($24 million). These commodities together contributed 27 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 666 farms in the Greater Perth region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 8 per cent of all farm businesses in Western Australia.
Number of farms, by industry classification, Greater Perth region, 2016–17
|Industry classification||Greater Perth region||Western Australia|
|Number of farms||% of Region||Number of farms||Contribution of region|
to state total %
|Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised) || 120 ||18.0 || 1,356 ||8.8 |
|Horse Farming || 91 ||13.6 || 202 ||44.9 |
|Vegetable Growing (Outdoors) || 78 ||11.8 || 296 ||26.5 |
|Grape Growing || 65 ||9.8 || 360 ||18.0 |
|Stone Fruit Growing || 47 ||7.1 || 77 ||61.4 |
|Nursery Production (Outdoors) || 42 ||6.3 || 68 ||61.8 |
|Poultry Farming (Eggs) || 32 ||4.7 || 39 ||81.7 |
|Poultry Farming (Meat) || 24 ||3.6 || 33 ||72.2 |
|Apple and Pear Growing || 23 ||3.5 || 79 ||29.3 |
|Berry Fruit Growing || 22 ||3.3 || 28 ||77.5 |
|Nursery Production (Under Cover) || 17 ||2.6 || 39 ||43.7 |
|Turf Growing || 16 ||2.3 || 34 ||45.4 |
|Vegetable Growing (Under Cover) || 15 ||2.2 || 21 ||68.5 |
|Dairy Cattle Farming || 12 ||1.7 || 232 ||5.0 |
|Other || 64 ||9.6 || 5,916 ||1.1 |
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 (120 farms) were the most common, accounting for 18 per cent of all farms in the Greater Perth region, and 9 per cent of all beef cattle farms in Western 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 41 per cent of farms in the Greater Perth region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 6 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2016–17. In comparison, 15 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $1 million and accounted for an estimated 67 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Greater Perth region in 2016–17.
Farm financial performance
Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, dairy, and vegetable farms in
In 2014–15, the most recent year for which regional data are available, the total plantation area in the Greater Perth region was 20,300 hectares. The main softwood species planted is maritime pine (Pinus pinaster). The Greater Perth region also consists of 6,700 hectares of other plantations.
In 2016, there were 256,300 hectares of native forests in the Greater Perth region, comprised mainly of Eucalypt medium open forest (138,300 hectares) and Eucalypt medium woodland forest (92,200 hectares). The majority of native forests were multiple-use public forests (102,700 hectares), while 82,000 hectares were privately owned and 64,800 hectares were in nature conservation reserves. The timber processing industry in the Greater Perth region is a wood-based panel mill in Neerabup.
In 2015–16, the total plantation area in Western Australia was 383,400 hectares, comprised of 276,400 hectares of hardwood plantations, 98,400 hectares of softwood plantations and 8,500 hectares of other plantations.
In 2015–16, the volume of native hardwood logs harvested in Western Australia was 355,000 cubic metres valued at $28 million. The volume of plantation hardwood logs harvested was 3.7 million cubic metres valued at $262 million. The volume of softwood harvested was 912,000 cubic metres valued at $59 million. These values and volumes include Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Total sales and service income in the Western Australia forest and wood product industry was estimated at $1.5 billion in 2015–16. The income generated from the sale of wood products was $1.1 billion and the income generated from the sale of paper and paper products was $343 million.
In 2016, Western Australia's forestry sector employed 3,995 workers (0.3 per cent of the total employed workforce in Western Australia) compared with 5,581 (0.5 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.
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.
Montreal Process Implementation Group for Australia and National Forest Inventory Steering Committee, 2018, Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018, ABARES, Canberra, December. CC BY 4.0.