1386.0 - What's New in Regional Statistics, June 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/06/2011   
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Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2009-10
Agricultural Commodities, Australia
Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, Australia, Dec 2010
Experimental Estimates of the Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production, 2000-01 to 2008-09


ABS Gears up for the 2010-11 Agricultural Census
Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, 31 January 2011


Released on 31 May 2011, Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 7503.0) contains final estimates of gross and local values of production of major agricultural commodities for all states/territories and Australia.

Data at sub-state geographies (Statistical Division (SD) and Natural Resource Management (NRM) Region) will be released at a later time in this product.


Released on 11 April 2011, Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0) provides final estimates for the main commodities collected in the 2009-10 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). Included are statistics on land use, industry activity, crop and horticultural area and production, and livestock numbers by State. Wheat grain storage and use, grain storage capacity and commodity quantities are also available by State/Territory.

Some of the main findings from this release include:

    • Area of farms in Australia fell between 2008-09 and 2009-10, by 3% to 399 million hectares
    • Approximately 52% of Australia's total land area was used for agriculture
    • Sheep and lamb numbers decreased nationally by 6% from 2008-09 to 68 million in 2009-10, the lowest level since 1905.

Data will be released as data cubes at Natural Resource Management (NRM) region and Statistical Division (SD) geographical levels in June 2011.


Released on 30 March 2011, Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, Australia, Dec 2010 (cat. no. 8635.0.55.002) contains the results from the on-going quarterly Survey of Tourist Accommodation. This release provides information on the supply of, and demand for, tourist accommodation facilities.

Data include number of establishments, capacity and employment for the quarter and occupancy and takings from accommodation for each month; by type of establishment and by star grading. Information is presented for each state/territory and Australia and by Tourism Regions as defined by the respective state/territory tourism commissions. Small area data are available for states and territories in catalogue numbers 8635.1.55.001 through to 8635.8.55.001. Data are available for Statistical Local Areas (SLAs), Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Tourism Regions (TRs). The publication 9503.0.55.001 contains maps defining the Tourism Regions.


Experimental Estimates of the Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production, 2000-01 to 2008-09 (cat. no. 4610.0.55.008) was released on 29 November 2010. Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (GVIAP) refers to the gross value of agricultural commodities that are produced with the assistance of irrigation. This release builds on the time series presented previously and contains data cubes presenting 2008–09 GVIAP estimates for Australia, the States and Territories and the Murray-Darling Basin, as well as Natural Resource Management (NRM) area estimates for 2005–06 to 2008–09.

Examples of data available in this release include:
    • The gross value of production from irrigation was $11,953 million in 2008-09, which represented 28.6% of the total gross value of agricultural production
    • In 2008-09. vegetables (for human consumption and seed) contributed the highest value ($2,625 million) to total irrigated production, followed by fruit and nuts and dairy production
    • The NRM producing the most GVIAP in 2008–09 was Goulburn-Broken, in the MDB in central Victoria
    • From 2007–08 to 2008–09, the Wets Tropics NRM in Queensland was the NRM region with the greatest increase in GVIAP ($359 million to $503 million).


It is clear that the key to planning for the future is to gather all the facts and it’s no secret that having good quality data to support your decisions makes all the difference. In the case of agricultural businesses, agricultural industry bodies and government departments, this is an ever present truth. The Agricultural Census, which comes around every five years, addresses the ongoing need for relevant and quality statistics. There is also the fact that the Agricultural Census is the second largest statistical collection undertaken in Australia; topped in size only by the Census of Population and Housing which involves all Australians.

In June 2011, the Agricultural Census forms will go out to around 175,000 farm businesses in approximately 700 Local Government Areas across Australia. The ABS has undertaken a tremendous amount of research and planning to make sure that this year’s Agricultural Census produces data which is relevant and timely. Over the past few months in the lead up to the June 2011 despatch of the Agricultural Census forms, the ABS has been busy planning and testing form content, internal systems and data capture processes, while engaging with the agricultural industry through our public relations campaign.

Through feedback from agricultural industry and producers Australia-wide, there have been additions and changes to questions in the 2010-11 Agricultural Census. Such examples are the expansion of crops to include essential oils, a broader understanding of land preparation and maintenance practices and organic and bio-dynamic certification practices. Another change is that the Agricultural Census form will be a nationwide form instead of the state based form used in the 05/06 Agricultural Census. All of the information collected will be used by Commonwealth and State government departments, industry bodies and agricultural businesses to help with decision making, policy formation and planning for the future of the industry.

Without a doubt, the Agricultural Census provides Australia's most detailed picture of what is happening in agriculture at the regional level. It provides vital information on production and water and land management practices throughout Australia, which underpin our understanding of the contribution agriculture makes to the national economy. With the aim of gaining a greater understanding of our agricultural landscape and assisting the Industry through the collection of important data, the 2010-11 Agricultural Census is a big deal and makes an important contribution.

The ABS relies heavily on cooperation and support from the farming community and the Agricultural Census is a great opportunity for those on the land to give Australia a better insight into what is happening in the agricultural sector. By responding to the Agricultural Census, producers are helping themselves, their communities and the national agricultural sector.

Further information about the 2011 Agricultural Census can be found on the Agricultural Census page of the ABS website.


To be released on 26 July 2011, Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, 31 January 2011 (cat. no. 9309.0) will present statistics compiled from data made available by various state and territory motor vehicle registration authorities. For each state and territory, data will include the number of vehicles on register by type of vehicle (passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, rigid trucks, articulated trucks, non-freight carrying trucks, buses and motor cycles), year of manufacture, make, gross vehicle mass and fuel type.

Selected datacubes will be available at postcode level.