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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 2017

Employment

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the November 2017 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 1.04 million people were employed in the Greater Perth Region. The region accounts for 79 per cent of total employment in Western Australia and 29 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 135,600 people, followed by construction with 108,400 people, and retail trade with 99,300 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were education and training; professional, scientific and technical services; and accommodation and food services. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 11,100 people, representing 1 per cent of the region's workforce.

Employment profile, Greater Perth region, November 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 2015–16 there were 633 farms in the Greater Perth region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 8 per cent of all farm businesses in Western Australia.

Number of farms, by industry classification, Greater Perth region, 2015–16
Industry classificationGreater Perth regionWestern Australia
Number of farms% of RegionNumber of farmsContribution of region
to state total %
Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised) 101 15.9 1,180 8.5
Vegetable Growing (Outdoors) 81 12.8 318 25.5
Horse Farming 66 10.4 151 43.5
Grape Growing 62 9.8 321 19.4
Stone Fruit Growing 62 9.7 91 67.9
Poultry Farming (Meat) 28 4.4 35 78.5
Nursery Production (Outdoors) 27 4.3 47 57.4
Sheep Farming (Specialised) 21 3.3 1,149 1.8
Poultry Farming (Eggs) 21 3.3 33 63.2
Turf Growing 20 3.2 34 60.5
Berry Fruit Growing 19 3.1 31 62.7
Nursery Production (Under Cover) 19 3.1 28 68.1
Other Fruit and Tree Nut Growing 13 2.0 137 9.1
Other93 14.7 4,704 2.0
Total agriculture6331008,2597.7

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 2017

Farms in the table above are classified according to the activities that generate most of their value of production. Beef cattle farms (101 farms) were the most common, accounting for 16 per cent of all farms in the Greater Perth region, and 9 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 39 per cent of farms in the Greater Perth region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 5 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2015–16. In comparison, 16 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 2015–16.

Distribution of farms by estimated value of agricultural operations, Greater Perth region, 2015–16
Shows share of farms and share of value of agricultural operations in the Greater Perth region. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraph.
Note: Only farms with an EVAO of $50,000 or more in 2015–16 are included in these data. The scope of ABS Rural Environment and Agricultural Collections changed in 2015–16 to include only agricultural businesses with an EVAO of $40,000 or greater.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017

Farm financial performance

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

Forestry sector

In 2014–15, the most recent year for which regional data are available, the total plantation area in the Greater Perth region was 20,300 hectares. The main softwood species planted is maritime pine (Pinus pinaster). The Greater Perth region also consists of 6,700 hectares of other plantations.

In 2011, there were 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. There were 101,170 hectares of native forests in multiple-use public forests available for timber production, 82,300 hectares were privately owned and 67,100 hectares were in nature conservation reserves. The timber processing industry in the Greater Perth region is a wood-based panel mill in Neerabup.
In 2015–16, the total plantation area in Western Australia was 383,400 hectares, comprised of 276,400 hectares of hardwood plantations, 98,400 hectares of softwood plantations and 8,500 hectares of other plantations.

In 2015–16, the volume of native hardwood logs harvested in Western Australia was 355,000 cubic metres valued at $28 million. The volume of plantation hardwood logs harvested was 3.7 million cubic metres valued at $262 million. The volume of softwood harvested was 912,000 cubic metres valued at $59 million. These values and volumes include Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Total sales and service income in the Western Australia forest and wood product industry was estimated at $1.5 billion in 2015–16. The income generated from the sale of wood products was $1.1 billion and the income generated from the sale of paper and paper products was $343 million.

In 2016, Western Australia's forestry sector employed 3,995 workers (0.3 per cent of the total employed workforce in Western Australia) compared with 5,581 (0.5 per cent) in 2011. The number of people employed includes the following categories: forestry, logging, support services, timber wholesaling; and wood, pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing.

Areas of native forest, by tenure, Greater Perth 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:
13 Apr 2018