About my region – Gold Coast Queensland
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 November 2019 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 338,300 people were employed in the Gold Coast. The region accounts for 13 per cent of total employment in Queensland and 2 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 51,100 people, followed by construction with 41,700 people, and retail trade with 36,800 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were accommodation and food services; education and training; and professional, scientific and technical services. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 1,500 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 2017–18 there were 149 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.
|Industry classification||Gold Coast region||Queensland|
|Number of farms||% of Region||Number of farms||Contribution of region to state total %|
|Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)||66||44.6||8,288||0.8|
|Sugar Cane Growing||38||25.5||2,939||1.3|
|Other Fruit and Tree Nut Growing||13||8.9||761||1.7|
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 2019
Farms in the table above are classified according to the activities that generate most of their value of production. Beef cattle farms (66 farms) were the most common, accounting for 45 per cent of all farms in the Gold Coast region, and less than 1 per cent of all beef 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 47 per cent of farms in the Gold Coast region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 11 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2017–18. In comparison, 8 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $1 million and accounted for an estimated 51 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Gold Coast region in 2017–18.
Farm financial performance
Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, dairy and vegetable farms in Queensland.
In 2014–15, the most recent year for which regional data are available, the Gold Coast region did not contain any forestry plantations.
In 2016 there were 100,100 hectares of native forests in the Gold Coast region, comprised mainly of Eucalypt Medium Open (42,100 hectares), Rainforest (22,200 hectares) and Other native forest (18,500 hectares). The majority of the native forests were privately managed (51,500 hectares), while 33,600 hectares were in conservation reserves and 12,500 hectares were on Crown land.
Queensland state data
In 2017–18, the total plantation area in Queensland was 230,500 hectares, comprised of 34,800 hectares of hardwood plantations and 195,600 hectares of softwood plantations.
In 2016, Queensland had 77 sawmills (including 31 softwood sawmills), 3 post and pole processors, 6 wood-based panel processors and 2 paper and paperboard processors.
In 2016, there were 51.6 million hectares of native forests in Queensland, comprised mainly of Eucalypt Medium Woodland (27.1 million hectares), Melaleuca (5.1 million hectares) and Acacia (5.1 million hectares).
In 2017–18 the volume of native hardwood logs harvested in Queensland was 279 thousand cubic metres valued at $39.7 million. There were no plantation hardwood logs harvested in this period. The volume of softwood logs harvested was 2.9 million cubic metres valued at $257.6 million.
In 2017–18, the estimated sales and service income generated from the sale of wood products in Queensland was $2.6 billion. Sales and service income for paper and paper products is not available for 2017–18.
In 2016 the Queensland forestry sector employed 9,520 workers (0.45 per cent) of the total employed workforce in Queensland compared with 12,840 (0.63 per cent) in 2011. The number of people employed includes the following categories: forestry and logging, forestry support services, wood product manufacturing and 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, November 2019, cat. no. 6291.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 15 January 2020.
ABS 2019b Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2017-18, cat. no. 7503.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 15 May 2019.