About my region – Toowoomba 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 Toowoomba region and the recent Queensland financial performance of the broadacre, dairy and vegetable industries.

​[expand all]

​​​Regional overview

The Toowoomba region of Queensland is located in the south–east of the state. The region comprises the local government area of Lockyer Valley and part of Toowoomba, and the major regional centre of Toowoomba. The region covers a total area of around 2,250 square kilometres or less than 1 per cent of Queensland's total area and is home to approximately 154,800 people (ABS 2018).

Agricultural land in the Toowoomba region occupies 1,700 square kilometres, or 75 per cent of the region. Areas classified as conservation and natural environments (nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use) occupy 320 square kilometres, or 14 per cent of the region. The most common land use by area is grazing native vegetation, which occupies 760 square kilometres or 34 per cent of the Toowoomba region (ABARES 2016).

Broad land use in the Toowoomba region
Shows a map of broad land use in the Toowoomba region. 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


Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the August 2020 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 69,100 people were employed in the Toowoomba region. The Toowoomba region accounts for 3 per cent of total employment in Queensland and 1 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 12,800 people, followed by education and training with 8,900 people, and construction with 7,600 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were retail trade; manufacturing; and other services. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 1,000 people representing 1 per cent of the region's workforce.

Employment profile, Toowoomba region, August 2020
Shows the number of people employed in the Toowoomba region by industry in thousands. The figure is discussed in the previous two paragraphs.
Note: Annual average of the preceding 4 quarters.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, cat. no. 6291.0, Labour Force, Australia 2020

Agricultural sector

Value of agricultural production

In 2018–19, the gross value of agricultural production in the Toowoomba region was $275 million, which was 2 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Queensland ($12.9 billion).

The most important commodities in the Toowoomba region based on the gross value of agricultural production were lettuce ($43 million), followed by poultry ($41 million) and sweet corn ($38 million). These commodities together contributed 44 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region.

Value of agricultural production, Toowoomba region, 2018–19
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 2020

Number and type of farms

ABS data indicate that in 2018–19 there were 212 farms in the Toowoomba region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 1 per cent of all farm businesses in Queensland.

Number of farms, by industry classification, Toowoomba region, 2018–19
Industry classification Toowoomba region Queensland
Number of farms % of Region Number of farms Contribution of region to state total %
Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)  57 26.7  8,740 0.6
Vegetable Growing (Outdoors)  42 19.7  697 6.0
Other Crop Growing nec  20 9.6  294 7.0
Other Grain Growing  15 7.3  838 1.8
Dairy Cattle Farming  13 6.3  408 3.3
Horse Farming  13 6.3  509 2.6
Other  51 24.1  6,284 0.8
Total agriculture  212 100  17,771 1.2

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. nec Not elsewhere classified.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Customised report, 2020

Farms in the table above are classified according to the activities that generate most of their value of production. Beef cattle farms (57 farms) were the most common, accounting for 27 per cent of all farms in the Toowoomba 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 26 per cent of farms in the Toowoomba region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 2 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2018–19. In comparison, 27 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $1 million and accounted for an estimated 76 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Toowoomba region in 2018–19.

Distribution of farms by estimated value of agricultural operations, Toowoomba region, 2018–19
Shows share of farms and share of value of agricultural operations in the Toowoomba region. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraph.
Note: Only farms with an EVAO of $50,000 or more in 2018–19 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, Customised report, 2020

Farm financial performance

Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, beef, grain, dairy and vegetable farms in Queensland.

Forestry sector

In 2014–15, the most recent year for which regional data are available, the Toowoomba region recorded less than 100 hectares of hardwood plantations. The main hardwood plantation species in Queensland is Dunns white gum (Eucalyptus dunnii). The main softwood plantation species in Queensland are Slash Pine hybrid (Pinus elliottii hybrid), Southern Pine hybrid (Pinus caribaea hybrid) and Hoop pines (Araucaria cunninghamii).

In 2016 there were 96,700 hectares of native forests in the Toowoomba region, comprised mainly of Eucalypt Medium Open (36,600 hectares), Eucalypt Medium Woodland (34,500 hectares) and Other native forest (19,100 hectares). The majority of the native forests were privately managed (69,300 hectares), while 17,400 hectares were in conservation reserves and 5,500 hectares were on multiple use public forest available for timber production.

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 2020a, Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, August 2020, cat. no. 6291.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 12 December 2020.

ABS 2020b, Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2018-19, cat. no. 7503.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 29 May 2020.

Last reviewed: 12 March 2021
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.