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, vegetable, and sugarcane 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 1,856 square kilometres, or less than 0.5 per cent of Queensland's total area, and is home to approximately 507,600 people (ABS 2011).
Agricultural land in the Gold Coast region occupies 585 square kilometres, or 31.5 per cent of the region. Areas classified as conservation and natural environments (nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use) occupy 637 square kilometres, or 34 per cent of the region. The most common land use by area is grazing native vegetation, which occupies 380 square kilometres or 21 per cent of the Gold Coast region.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the May 2017 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 302,000 people were employed in the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast 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 39,600 people, followed by construction with 35,900 people and retail trade with 33,400 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were accommodation and food services; professional, scientific and technical services, and education and training. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 1,300 people, representing less than 1 per cent of the region's workforce.
Value of agricultural production
In 2015–16, the gross value of agricultural production in the Gold Coast region was $81 million, which was less than 1 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Queensland ($13.2 billion).
The most important commodities in the region based on the gross value of agricultural production were mushrooms ($30 million), followed by sugarcane ($19 million) and nurseries ($15 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 2014–15 there were 172 farms in the Gold Coast region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $5,000 or more. The region contains about 1 per cent of all farm businesses in Queensland.
Number of farms, by industry classification, Gold Coast region, 2014–15
|Industry classification||Gold Coast region||Queensland|
|Number of farms||% of Region||Number of farms||Contribution of region to state total %|
Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)
Sugar Cane Growing
Other Fruit and Tree Nut Growing
Note: Estimated value of agricultural operations $5,000 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 2016
Farms in the table above are classified according to the activities that generate most of their value of production. Beef cattle farms (77 farms) were the most common, accounting for 45 per cent of all farms in the Gold Coast region, and 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 57 per cent of farms in the Gold Coast region had an EVAO of less than $50,000. These farms accounted for only 7 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2014–15. In comparison, 14 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $350,000 and accounted for an estimated 72 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Gold Coast region in 2014–15.
Farm financial performance
Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, beef, grains, dairy, vegetable, and sugarcane farms in Queensland.
Census of Population and Housing, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.