The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences is the research arm of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Our mission is to provide professionally independent and world-class multi-disciplinary research, analysis and advice to inform decision-makers in this department, other government agencies and the private sector on significant issues affecting Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries.
ABARES has a wealth of expertise in applied economic and scientific research, developing innovative modelling techniques, undertaking comprehensive surveys and developing internationally recognised data management processes. The bureau also provides integrated socio-economic and biophysical analysis to address the policy issues facing Australia's primary industries today and into the future.
In contributing to policy development, ABARES examines the full range of options potentially available to policy makers and, at times, may enter into public discussion on its research findings and on the consequences of different policy options. ABARES also takes a collaborative approach to research and policy analysis, working with external experts and partners, including the CSIRO and the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis.
ABARES delivers independent economic and scientific research and analysis to a range of stakeholders. ABARES innovative research outputs combine current thinking from relevant disciplines that are presented in publications and reports, data compilations, databases, and presentations at conferences and workshops.
ABARES has staff with skills across a range of economic, science and social-science disciplines, including in the areas of scientific and economic analysis and modelling, data (including survey) collection and statistical analysis, risk assessment and management, geographical mapping, particularly in areas related to natural resource management, commodity and market analysis, and integrated analysis.
Our work programme
Our work programme in 2016–17 sets out ABARES priorities and activities for the year. It reflects the collaborative nature of our work in supporting the department to meet policy, programme and business outcomes as outlined in the Portfolio Budget Statement 2016–17. It encompasses activities we undertake for other Australian Government departments and agencies and private-sector stakeholders to aid their decision making.
On behalf of the agriculture portfolio, ABARES manages the government’s regulatory reform agenda (previously known as the deregulation or cutting red tape agenda), including the identification and monitoring of opportunities for regulatory reform, reporting on achievements to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and implementing the regulator performance framework.
ABARES also manages the Information Management and Public Data Taskforce, established in February 2016 to implement the Government’s public data agenda, which will involve changes to the way information and data are managed across the department.
ABARES was established in 1945 as the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, with a focus on
understanding the economic structure and performance of primary industries.
In the 1950s, the bureau began its farm surveys programme, which is still providing a rich source of information on the performance of the farm sector today. It also began regular assessments and forecasts of a range of commodity markets.
The popular Outlook conferences, which are now run throughout Australia, began in 1971 providing opportunities for delegates to hear about the latest agricultural trends and issues from bureau economists and external speakers.
ABARES has now hosted 47 national Outlook conferences— and many more in regional Australia —which are recognised as Australia’s leading agricultural economics forums.
In 1988, the bureau combined with related research agencies to become the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics—ABARE. This broadened the bureau’s research focus to include energy and minerals markets and major issues such as climate change.
Today’s organisation, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, was formed following a merger with the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS) in 2010.
This strengthened the bureau, allowing it to conduct integrated economic, scientific and social research.
We have a diverse range of clients encompassing the agriculture, food, forest, fisheries, productivity and water sectors. They include federal and state government department's and agencies, portfolio-related companies and agencies, research and development corporations, and industry groups.
ABARES funding comprises approximately 80 per cent direct appropriation and administered funding from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, with the balance received in earned revenue from divisions of the department, its portfolio agencies, other government departments and the private sector.
Contact us if you would like to discuss how we can help your organisation.
Our Minister, Assistant Minister and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister