About my region – Greater Perth Western Australia
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 November 2019 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 1.1 million people were employed in the Greater Perth Region. The region accounts for 80 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 136,200 people, followed by professional, scientific and technical services with 102,400 people, and retail trade with 102,100 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were construction; education and training; and mining. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 8,100 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 2017–18 there were 524 farms in the Greater Perth region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 7 per cent of all farm businesses in Western Australia.
|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)||104||19.8||1,045||9.9|
|Vegetable Growing (Outdoors)||95||18.2||343||27.7|
|Stone Fruit Growing||44||8.5||74||59.9|
|Poultry Farming (Meat)||27||5.2||34||80.5|
|Poultry Farming (Eggs)||20||3.9||32||63.7|
|Apple and Pear Growing||19||3.6||65||28.7|
|Berry Fruit Growing||13||2.5||27||48.3|
|Nursery Production (Under Cover)||12||2.2||16||72.8|
|Nursery Production (Outdoors)||10||2.0||21||49.1|
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 2019
Farms in the table above are classified according to the activities that generate most of their value of production. Beef cattle farms (104 farms) were the most common, accounting for 20 per cent of all farms in the Greater Perth region, and 10 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 45 per cent of farms in the Greater Perth region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 7 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2017–18. In comparison, 13 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 2017–18.
Farm financial performance
Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, dairy, and vegetable farms in Western Australia.
In 2014–15 the most recent year for which regional data are available, the total plantation area in the Greater Perth region was about 13,600 hectares, comprised of 230 hectares of hardwood plantations and 13,370 hectares of softwood plantations. In the Greater Perth region, the major hardwood plantation species is Tasmanian blue gum. The main softwood plantation species is maritime pine with radiata pine.
In 2016 there were about 256,900 hectares of native forests in the Greater Perth region, comprised mainly of eucalypt medium (231,900 hectares), other native forest (24,000 hectares) and melaleuca (1,000 hectares). The majority of the native forests were multiple use public forest available for timber production (103,100 hectares), while 82,100 hectares were privately managed and 64,900 hectares were on in conservation reserves.
Western Australia state data
In 2017–18, the total plantation area in Western Australia was 361,700 hectares, comprised of 253,500 hectares of hardwood plantations and 99,700 hectares of softwood plantations.
In 2016, Western Australia had 28 sawmills (including 2 softwood sawmills), 4 post and pole processors and 2 wood based panel processors.
In 2016, there were 20.4 million hectares of native forests in Western Australia, comprised mainly of eucalypt medium (8.6 million hectares), eucalypt mallee (6.3 million hectares) and acacia (3.2 million hectares).
In 2017–18, the volume of native hardwood logs harvested in Western Australia was 366 thousand cubic metres, valued at $26.9 million. The volume of plantation hardwood logs harvested in Western Australia was 3.3 million cubic metres, valued at $268.6 million. The volume of plantation softwood logs harvested in Western Australia was 849 thousand cubic metres, valued at $58.8 million.
In 2017–18, the estimated sales and service income generated from the sale of wood products in Western Australia was $1.1 billion. Sales and service income for paper and paper products is not available for 2017–18.
In 2016, the Western Australia forestry sector employed 3,746 workers (0.3 per cent) of the total employed workforce in Western Australia) compared with 5,283 (0.5 per cent) in 2011. The number of people employed includes in the following industries: 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.
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.