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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, vegetable, and sugarcane industries.

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​​​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 2,258 square kilometres or less than 0.5 per cent of Queensland's total area and is home to approximately 153,200 people (ABS 2017).

Agricultural land in the Toowoomba region occupies 1,697 square kilometres, or 75 per cent of the region. Areas classified as conservation and natural environments (nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use) occupy 322 square kilometres, or 14 per cent of the region. The most common land use by area is grazing native vegetation, which occupies 761 square kilometres or 34 per cent of the Toowoomba region.

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 ABARES 2016

Employment

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the August 2017 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 75,000 people were employed in the Toowoomba region. The Toowoomba region accounts for 3 per cent of total employment in Queensland and 15 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 11,100 people, followed by education and training and agriculture, forestry and fishing sector with 8,300 people each. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector represented 11 per cent of the region's workforce. Other important employment sectors in the region were retail trade, manufacturing, and professional, scientific and technical services.

Employment profile, Toowoomba region, August 2017
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 2017

Agricultural sector

Value of agricultural production

In 2015–16, the gross value of agricultural production in the Toowoomba region was $261 million, which was 2 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Queensland ($13.2 billion).

The most important commodities in the Toowoomba region based on the gross value of agricultural production were vegetables ($157 million) including sweet corn ($35 million), lettuce ($25 million) and beans ($22 million). Poultry ($39 million) was the second largest commodity  followed by nurseries ($15 million). These commodities together contributed 81 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region.

Value of agricultural production, Toowoomba region, 2015-16
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 2017

Number and type of farms

ABS data indicate that in 2014–15 there were 579 farms in the Toowoomba region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $5,000 or more. The region contains 3 per cent of all farm businesses in Queensland.

Number of farms, by industry classification, Toowoomba region, 2014–15
Industry classificationToowoomba region​Queensland
Number of farms% of RegionNumber of farmsContribution of region to state total %

Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)

320

55.4

12,172

2.6

Other Crop Growing nec

69

12.0

371

18.7

Vegetable Growing (Outdoors)

59

10.1

766

7.6

Dairy Cattle Farming

38

6.6

572

6.7

Other Fruit and Tree Nut Growing

30

5.3

1,076

2.8

Grain-Sheep or Grain-Beef Cattle Farming

30

5.1

1,033

2.9

Other

32

5.5

7,045

0.5

Total agriculture

579

100

23,035

2.5

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 (320 farms) were the most common, accounting for 55 per cent of all farms in the Toowoomba region, and 3 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 62 per cent of farms in the Toowoomba region had an EVAO of less than $50,000. These farms accounted for only 5 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2014–15. In comparison, 12 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $350,000 and accounted for an estimated 80 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Toowoomba region in 2014–15.

Distribution of farms by estimated value of agricultural operations, Toowoomba region, 2014–15
Shows share of farms and share of value of agricultural operations in the Toowoomba region. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraph.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016

Farm financial performance

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

References

ABS 2017, Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2016, cat. no. 3235.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 19 September 2017.

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Last reviewed:
17 Oct 2017