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.

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Regional overview

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 6,418 square kilometres or about 0.25 per cent of Western Australia's total area and is home to approximately 2,022,000 people (ABS 2017).

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 1,450 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.

Broad land use in the Greater Perth region
Shows a map of broad land use in the Greater Perth 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 1.05 million people were employed in the Greater Perth Region. The region accounts for 78 per cent of total employment in Western Australia and 31 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 132,600 people, followed by construction with 108,900 people and retail trade with 99,400 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were professional, scientific and technical services; education and training; and accommodation and food services. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 11,300 people, representing 1 per cent of the region's workforce.

Employment profile, Greater Perth region, August 2017
Shows the number of people employed in the Greater Perth 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 Greater Perth region was $435 million, which was 5 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Western Australia ($8.2 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 vegetables ($98 million), followed by fruit and nuts (excluding grapes) ($68 million) and nurseries ($34 million). These commodities together contributed 46 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region. In 2015–16 the most important vegetables based on gross value of production were tomatoes ($13 million), followed by sweet corn ($7 million) and lettuces ($6 million). The most important fruit and nuts (excluding grapes) were strawberries ($29 million), followed by apples ($13 million) and nectarines ($8 million).

Value of agricultural production, Greater Perth 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 1,060 farms in the Greater Perth region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $5,000 or more. The region contains 11 per cent of all farm businesses in Western Australia.

Number of farms, by industry classification, Greater Perth region, 2014–15

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)

324

30.6

2,172

14.9

Vegetable Growing (Outdoors)

161

15.2

408

39.4

Grape Growing

124

11.7

442

28.1

Horse Farming

80

7.5

207

38.4

Stone Fruit Growing

63

5.9

76

82.4

Nursery Production (Under Cover)

32

3.0

59

54.9

Poultry Farming (Meat)

29

2.7

37

77.8

Sheep Farming (Specialised)

27

2.6

1,145

2.4

Berry Fruit Growing

26

2.5

37

71.0

Dairy Cattle Farming

26

2.4

208

12.4

Other Fruit and Tree Nut Growing

23

2.2

177

13.1

Apple and Pear Growing

23

2.2

86

26.7

Poultry Farming (Eggs)

21

1.9

29

70.7

Other

101

9.5

4,992

2.0

Total agriculture

1,060

100

10,075

10.5

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 (324 farms) were the most common, accounting for 31 per cent of all farms in the Greater Perth region, and 15 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 54 per cent of farms in the Greater Perth region had an EVAO of less than $50,000. These farms accounted for only 4 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2014–15. In comparison, 6 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $1 million and accounted for an estimated 62 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Greater Perth region in 2014–15.

Distribution of farms by estimated value of agricultural operations, Greater Perth region, 2014–15
Shows share of farms and share of value of agricultural operations in the Greater Perth 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, and vegetable farms in Western Australia.

Forestry sector

In 2010–11, the most recent year for which regional data are available, the total plantation area in the Greater Perth region was approximately 20,200 hectares. The main softwood species planted is maritime pine (Pinus pinaster).

In 2011, there were approximately 256,000 hectares of native forests in the Greater Perth region, comprised mainly of Eucalypt medium open (135,800 hectares) and Eucalypt medium woodland (95,900 hectares) forest types. Approximately 101,170 hectares of native forests are multiple-use public forest available for timber production, 82,300 hectares are privately owned and 67,100 hectares are in nature conservation reserves. The timber processing industry in the Greater Perth region is a wood-based panel mill in Neerabup.

In 2013–14, the total plantation area in Western Australia was approximately 391,500 hectares, comprised of approximately 287,300 hectares of hardwood plantations and 98 hectares of softwood plantations and 5,700 hectares of other plantations. The main hardwood species planted is blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and the main softwood species planted are maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) and radiata pine (Pinus radiata).

In 2014–15, the volume of native hardwood logs harvested was 331,000 cubic metres valued at $26 million. The volume of plantation hardwood logs harvested was 3.4 million cubic metres valued at $239 million. The volume of softwood harvested was 969,000 cubic metres valued at $61 million.

Sales and service income of the Western Australia wood product industry was estimated at $949 million in 2013–14.

In 2011, Western Australia's forestry sector employed 5,580 workers (0.5 per cent of the total employed workforce in Western Australia) compared with 5,972 (0.5 per cent) in 2006. The number of people employed includes forestry support services and timber wholesaling.

Areas of native forest, by tenure, Bunbury region
Shows the areas of native forest, by tenure in the Greater Perth region. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraph.

Source: ABARES Australia's State of the Forests Report 2013

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