The 2013 ALWOS found that just under 99 per cent of Australian farm businesses are fully Australian owned and just under 90 per cent of farmland is fully Australian owned. These are comparable levels to the 2010 ALWOS.
Total agricultural water entitlements decreased in 2013, down 4 per cent to 13.2 million megalitres. More than 11.3 megalitres were entirely Australian owned, whilst 1.8 million megalitres had some level of foreign ownership, an increase of 55 percent on the 2010 level of foreign ownership. This was mostly due to increases in Queensland.
Large businesses continue to account for the majority of foreign owned farm land in Australia. ALWOS 2013 found that less than 50 businesses accounted for 95% of the total area of foreign owned farm land in Australia.
Additional content is available on the other main features pages, and tabular data are available in data cubes accessible via the Downloads tab of this publication.
In this issue
This publication presents final estimates of the level of foreign ownership of businesses with land and water entitlements used for agriculture in Australia. The data were collected in the Agricultural Land and Water Ownership Survey (ALWOS) conducted in late 2013, with respondents asked to report ownership status as at 30 June 2013.
This is the second ALWOS conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The first ALWOS was conducted in 2010 following the introduction of the Foreign Acquisitions Amendment (Agricultural Land) Bill, when the ABS was asked to collect information on the level of foreign ownership of agricultural businesses, land and water entitlements used for agricultural activity to inform government policy in this area. Data from the first ALWOS was released in mid-2011.
In 2012 the Federal Government announced it would fund ongoing and expanded statistical data collection by the ABS on foreign ownership of agricultural land and water entitlements. This was to be collected via stand-alone sample surveys in 2013 and 2018 and through the Agricultural Census in 2016 and 2021.
The 2013 ALWOS was designed to deliver the same information requirements as the 2010 survey, which includes national-level estimates and data provided by state/territory or by industry group where available. The ALWOS provides data on the level of direct foreign ownership of businesses with agricultural land holdings in Australia, measured in three categories of: greater than 0% and less than 10% foreign ownership; greater than or equal to 10% and less than or equal to 50% foreign ownership; and greater than 50% foreign ownership. The ALWOS also provides information on the area of agricultural land and volume of water entitlements by the level of foreign ownership of the owning business.
The data cubes available via the downloads tab present a more comprehensive account of the levels of foreign ownership of agricultural businesses, agricultural land and water entitlements used for agriculture in Australia, by state/territory and by industry group. More information on the design of the survey and reliability of the estimates is provided in the Explanatory Notes.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.