4609.0.55.001 - Land Account: Great Barrier Reef Region, Experimental Estimates, 2014  
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EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 The ABS Land Account: Great Barrier Reef Region, Experimental Estimates, 2014 is a pilot project which adds to the existing suite of environmental accounts produced by the ABS based on the United Nations (UN) System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). This release presents the first experimental land account to demonstrate a method for reporting change in land use, rateable value and land cover. It consists of a series of statistical tables for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) region in Queensland and the associated Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions, including;

  • Table 1 - Monetary account for land use (rateable value)
  • Table 2 - Physical account for land use (hectares)
  • Table 3 - Land use net change matrix (rateable value)
  • Table 4 - Land use net change matrix (hectares)
  • Table 5 - Physical account for land cover (hectares)
  • Table 6 - Land cover net change matrix (hectares).

2 These estimates explore concepts and methods while also assessing the quality and limitations of available data sources. The timing and frequency of future Land Accounts will be determined in consultation with stakeholders and the availability of data. A suite of State and Territory Land Accounts would be part of a set of integrated environment accounts being developed by the ABS (see Towards an Integrated Environmental-Economic Account for Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 4655.0.55.001)).

3 The Land Account incorporates data from different sources into a consolidated set of information making it possible to link physical data on land to economic data, such as those in Australia's National Accounts.


ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING FRAMEWORK

4 Environmental-economic accounting is a method of integrating environmental data with economic and, to a lesser degree, social data. The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) is an environmental-economic accounting framework developed by the United Nations Statistics Division. The SEEA Central Framework was adopted as an international statistical standard in early 2012, while a draft of the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting became available in November 2012. This publication has been produced in accordance with the SEEA and follows previous Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) environmental-economic accounting publications utilising this system - Land Account: Queensland, Experimental Estimates, 2013 (cat. no. 4609.0.55.003), Land Account: Victoria, Experimental Estimates, 2013 (cat. no. 4609.0.55.002), Land Account: Great Barrier Reef Region, Experimental Estimates, 2011 (cat. no. 4609.0.55.001), Energy Account, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4604.0) and Water Account, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4610.0).

5 For further information on environmental-economic accounting please refer to the ABS Information Papers: Completing the Picture - Environmental Accounting in Practice, May 2012 (cat. no. 4628.0.55.001), Information Paper: Towards the Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts, 2013 (cat. no. 4655.0.55.002), Information Paper: What are Environmental Accounts?, 2008 (cat. no. 4655.0.55.001), Towards an Integrated Environmental-Economic Account for Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 4655.0.55.001), and the United Nations Statistical Division.


COVERAGE AND GEOGRAPHY

6 This release presents an experimental land account for the GBR region in Queensland and the associated Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions which lie adjacent to and drain into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The NRM regions include: Burdekin, Burnett Mary, Fitzroy, Mackay Whitsunday, and Wet Tropics. Figure 1 shows a map of the study region.

Figure 1: Study region - Great Barrier Reef region
Map: Figure 1 Shows Study region - Great Barrier Reef region within Australian map


INTERPRETING THE LAND ACCOUNT TABLES

Physical and monetary accounts

7 Tables 1, 2 and 5 in the Downloads Tab are physical (hectares) and monetary (dollars) accounts for land use and land cover. These tables present the opening and closing stocks of rateable value or land area for different land uses or land covers. They also show additions and reductions in rateable value or land area and aspire to present the reasons for these additions and reductions. The monetary account for land use includes a revaluations category, which relates to changes in the rateable value due solely to valuation changes over the accounting period. The accounts in this publication only present total additions and total reductions in rateable value or land area, with the exception of revaluations which are identified in the monetary account. The data used in this account do not provide sufficient contextual information to attribute reasons for change. Figure 2 shows an example of a simplified monetary account for land use. It would show an addition of $100,000 in the Residential column, a reduction of -$100,000 in the Industrial column and a positive revaluation of $25,000 in the Residential column.


Net change matrices

8 Tables 3, 4 and 6 in the Downloads Tab are net change matrices for land use and land cover in both physical and monetary units. Like the physical and monetary accounts described above, they present the opening and closing stocks of rateable value or land area for different land uses or land covers. In addition they present the net increase and net decrease of land uses and land covers according to the land use or land cover it was converted from (in the case of increases), or to (in the case of decreases). Finally, they present a total net change for each land use or land cover. The opening stock was calculated by summing all land use or land cover values by type for the beginning of the reference period. The closing stock was calculated by summing the opening stock and the total net change in rateable value or land area for each land use or land cover type. It is important to understand that the matrices show net changes, which may mask information. For example, if 100 hectares of Livestock Grazing is lost in one place but added elsewhere, then no net change would be shown. In the Figure 2 example the land use net change matrix would show -$100,000 in the Industrial row/Residential column, and $125,000 in the Residential row/Industrial column.

Figure 2. Example of net change of Industrial to Residential land use for 2009-13

Figure; Figure 2 shows net change of Industrial to Residential land use for 2009 to13


DATA SOURCES

9 This publication was produced using information from a number of Commonwealth and State Government Departments. The ABS gratefully acknowledges the assistance provided by these agencies. The data sources are listed below:
    • Cadlite®, February 2012 - Public Sector Mapping Agencies (PSMA). This spatial dataset contains land parcel and property information from across Australia. It is a graphical index of digital cadastral boundaries, excluding easements.

      Further information is available from the PSMA web site: <http://www.psma.com.au/>.

    • Dynamic Land Cover Dataset (DLCD), Geoscience Australia (GA), in collaboration with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). The Dynamic Land Cover Dataset (DLCD) version 2 beta has been used in this publication. The DLCD is the first nationally consistent and thematically comprehensive land cover reference for Australia. It is the result of collaboration between GA and ABARES, and provides a base-line for identifying and reporting on change and trends in vegetation cover and extent.

      The DLCD includes snapshots of vegetation greenness for each 250 by 250 metre grid cell with each layer based on 2 years of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. The classification scheme used to describe land cover categories in the DLCD conforms to the 2007 International Organization for Standardization (ISO) land cover standard (19144-2). The DLCD shows Australia's land cover grouped into 33 classes. These reflect the structural character of vegetation, ranging from cultivated and managed land covers (crops and pastures) to natural land covers such as forest and grasslands.

      The source data for the DLCD is a time series of Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) data from the MODIS on the Terra and Aqua satellites operated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ABS has used DLCD based on MODIS data from 2008-09 and 2010-11 for the Great Barrier Reef Land Account.

      Further information is available from the GA web site <http://www.ga.gov.au>.

    • Land valuations file, State of Queensland (Department of Natural Resources and Mines, 2009 and 2013). The valuations file provides information on land use and rateable value for cadastral properties.

      The following caveats apply to the use of State of Queensland data: In consideration of the State permitting use of this data you acknowledge and agree that the State gives no warranty in relation to the data (including accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or suitability) and accepts no liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for any loss, damage or costs (including consequential damage) relating to any use of the data. Data must not be used for direct marketing or be used in breach of the privacy laws.
DATA CURRENCY

10 The two datasets used to produce the statistical tables are land valuations from the State of Queensland and GA's DLCD version 2 beta product. The reference periods for these data sets do not align. The Queensland valuations data represents land use and value as at June 2009 and June 2013, while valuations have been weighted to the corresponding years in Australian System of National Accounts, 2012-13 (cat. no. 5204.0). ABS has used DLCD based on MODIS data from January 2008 to December 2009 and January 2010 to December 2011.

11 The primary aim of this publication was to develop a consistent and repeatable methodology for producing a regular suite of State and Territory Land Accounts. This aim drove the selection of the primary data sets used.


DATA QUALITY

12 Tables 1-6 in the Downloads Tab are experimental, and as such the estimates should be used with caution. In compiling these tables the ABS has identified issues with the coverage, completeness and accuracy of the administrative data sets used. It is expected that these issues will be addressed as the methods and underlying datasets mature.

13 This publication has been produced from administrative information and satellite imagery. The validation of data accuracy has been a major challenge. For example, no other land use change information for the accounting period exists to benchmark the output tables against.

14 A considerable proportion of land reported in Tables 1-4 has changed to or from Unallocated and Not Classified land use. Unallocated represents land uses that could not be allocated to the Australian Valuations Property Classification Code (AVPCC) including all vacant land. Not Classified represents areas where no land use information was available. The large movements to and from these classes highlight potential classification inconsistencies and poor data coverage in some areas.

15 The CadLite dataset was used as the foundation spatial boundary for the land use tables (Tables 1-4). These Cadastral boundaries have undergone small and inconsistent shifts between the accounting periods. These shifts can cause small artificial changes between land use types. This issue was largely overcome by linking data for the two accounting periods using a tabular join (see paragraph 20). However a small percentage of properties are still affected by this issue.

16 The methodology of assigning a dominant land use where multiple cadastral properties overlap (see paragraph 21) has resulted in some artificial changes in land use and rateable value (Tables 1-4). National Parks, conservation areas, forest reserves and natural water land use types have not been valued in Queensland. As a consequence, this land use type is more vulnerable to changes due to the methodology of assigning a dominant land use based on the highest rateable value.

17 Tables 5 and 6 in the Downloads Tab present changes in land cover. The supporting DLCD data set remains in a testing phase. As such, the information should be interpreted cautiously and with reference to the data custodians, Geoscience Australia (GA). The Built-up Surface, Extraction Sites, Irrigated Sugar and Rainfed Sugar land cover types were derived from supplementary datasets from a single period in time. These classes show no changes over time. The following are some known issues with the DLCD datasets;
  • Small areas of known rapid afforestation are not consistently being detected;
  • Steep south west facing slopes may lack data and due to this may contain isolated tussock grass or sedge pixels; and
  • Changes in the extent of irrigation in vineyards, orchards and olive groves are not consistently being detected.
METHODOLOGY

18 The following methodology describes how the data presented in Tables 1-6 were derived. This publication is not consistent with the figures published in the Land Account: Queensland, Experimental Estimates, 2013 (cat. no. 4609.0.55.003) or Land Account: Great Barrier Reef Region, Experimental Estimates, 2011 (cat. no. 4609.0.55.001) due to methodological changes.


Land use tables

19 The PSMA CadLite product was used as the building block for the land use tables (1-4). This provided a spatial index of digital cadastral boundaries. The land valuations files were linked to CadLite for their corresponding accounting periods using a tabular join based on Lot/Plan and property identifiers. These datasets were the source for land values and land use classification in this publication.

20 The cadastral boundaries for both accounting periods were linked together to enable the presentation of land use changes over time. The issue of cadastral polygon shifts has caused spatial misalignment between the two years of CadLite. To minimise this problem the accounting periods were linked using two separate approaches. Where possible, properties have been linked using a tabular join based on property identifiers. This was limited to properties that had no geometry changes during the accounting period or overlapping polygons in the individual years of cadastre. The tabular linked records for both periods were spatially joined to the 2013 version of CadLite. This captured approximately 85% of valuation records within the GBR region. The remaining 15% were linked together using a spatial overlay.

21 A small proportion of the remaining valuation records linked to properties that contained overlaps in the individual years of CadLite. These overlaps were treated by splitting and merging properties into new objects. This enabled all valuations to be included and prevented double counting of land area. Where multiple valuations fall on the same object their values are summed. These valuations can have different land use classifications reflecting multiple uses at the site. Where this occurred a dominant land use was allocated based on the land use type with greatest rateable value. The dominant land use method was chosen to facilitate reporting change between two time periods. The two accounting periods were then associated using a geographical union.

22 Both the tabular and union datasets were merged together and spatially intersected with the Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions in the GBR region. In some cases, this process split properties that crossed NRM boundaries. The rateable value was subsequently apportioned across these properties based on land area.

23 The land use classification used in this publication is shown in Appendix 1. In order to develop consistent Land Accounts for all jurisdictions in Australia, the land use classification applied needs to be consistent for all States and Territories. A decision was made to apply the Australian Valuation Property Classification Codes (AVPCC) to all States and Territories, as it is promoted as a national standard for land valuations. For the GBR Land Account, a concordance between the Queensland valuations land use classification and AVPCC has been created by the ABS.

24 In the concordance (see Appendix 1), Primary Production is split into secondary level for Agriculture Cropping and Livestock Grazing while the remaining categories are presented as Other Primary Production. Community Services and Sports, Heritage and Culture have been merged as Community Services, Sports, Heritage and Culture, while Extractive Industry and Infrastructure and Utilities have been merged as Extractive Industry and Infrastructure/Utilities. These aggregations were made to protect data confidentiality. All other categories are presented at the primary level. A custom Unallocated class has been added for properties with a vacant land use type and land use codes that could not be placed in the AVPCC. All other land area not covered by CadLite has been presented as Not Classified. As this is a custom classification not presented in the valuations data, it has not been valued in the monetary tables.

25 This account has only used the rateable value of issuing valuations which are used for Local Government rating purposes and land tax assessment.

26 Tables 1 and 3 publish data consistent with Australian System of National Accounts, 2012-13 (cat. no. 5204.0). The Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) publishes total land value for the State of Queensland for rural and commercial land. The value of residential land is sourced from a method that uses a combination of data produced by the ABS and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). The ABS and RBA methodology generates combined estimates of land and dwellings owned by households. The ABS value of dwellings owned by households is then subtracted to derive the value of residential land owned by households. As a result, Queensland rateable land values do not fully align with values published in the ABS Land Account or the ASNA.

27 To ensure rateable values presented in the GBR Land Account align with the ASNA, Tables 1 and 3 were weighted to ASNA values for rural, commercial and residential land. Australian System of National Accounts, 2012-13 (cat. no. 5204.0) provides the value of land by land use for each State/Territory. The 2013 valuations used in this account were weighted using the June 2013 ASNA land values at State level. As the June 2009 valuations dataset was acquired for the GBR region only, the valuations were weighted using the proportion of the GBR region's rateable value to the rateable value of the State of Queensland, as at June 2013. This proportion was then used to calculate total rateable values for the GBR region based on ASNA June 2009 data.

28 Australian System of National Accounts, 2012-13 (cat. no. 5204.0) also includes an "Other" land use, valued at $76.4 billion in Queensland for 2013. This is non-rateable land, including; crown land, National Parks and other land owned by government, as well as land held under native title and other types of arrangements. The Queensland land valuations data does not incorporate non-rateable land.
Land cover tables

29 The DLCD version 2 beta was provided by Geoscience Australia as a 250 m x 250 m grid for Australia. Two reference periods of DLCD version 2 beta as at 2008-09 and 2010-11 were used to analyse change over time. Within DLCD, each grid cell is attributed with a land cover type based on dominance for the reference period.

30 The DLCD version 2 beta is presented as 33 unique land cover classes. In consultation with GA, these were reclassified to 25 categories. These classifications are detailed in Appendix 2.

31 Using ESRI ArcMap™software, the DLCD version 2 beta datasets for 2008-09 and 2010-11 were combined, generating a unique value for each combination of land cover change. The land area of each unique combination that changed from one land cover class to another was then calculated for each NRM region. This enabled the development of the physical account and net change matrix for land cover.

32 The 2008-09 and 2010-11 DLCD version 2 beta datasets have been re-sampled to align to the National Nested Grid (NNG). The NNG guideline has been developed by the Australian New Zealand Land Information Council (ANZLIC) NNG Workgroup. The guideline provides consistent standards/specifications to allow sharing and effective use of grid cell data. The specifications detailed in the guideline have been used to resample each DLCD version 2 beta dataset in the reference period. The NNG guideline can be downloaded from the ANZLIC website: <http://www.anzlic.org.au/NNG>.


CONFIDENTIALITY

33 Where appropriate, data has been suppressed to prevent the release of any information that may identify any individual or organisation.


CLASSIFICATIONS

34 The following classifications were used in this publication:
  • Australian Valuation Property Classification Codes (AVPCC)
  • International Standards Organisation Land Cover Classification (ISO 19144-2).


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

35 Users should also refer to Land Account: Queensland, Experimental Estimates, 2013 (cat. no. 4609.0.55.003), Land Account: Victoria, Experimental Estimates, 2012 (cat. no. 4609.0.55.002) and Land Account: Great Barrier Reef Region, Experimental Estimates, 2011 (cat. no. 4609.0.55.001). These Land Accounts present the first experimental estimates produced by the ABS for Queensland and Victoria.

36 The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001) is the framework for understanding and interpreting the geographical context of statistics published by the ABS. From July 2011 the ABS will progressively replace the current Australian Standard Geographical Classification with the new ASGS as its geographical framework. Further information can be found at the ABS website - <www.abs.gov.au>.

37 Other ABS environmental-economic accounting publications which have been published in accordance with the SEEA include; Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts, 2014 (cat. no. 4655.0), Energy Account, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4604.0), Water Account, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4610.0) and Waste Account, Australia, 2010-11 (cat. no. 4602.0.55.006).

38 Land, timber and sub-soil assets are also included on the national balance sheet contained in the Australian System of National Accounts, 2012-13 (cat. no. 5204.0). Additionally, information on land valuation methodology used to produce the national balance sheet on land can be found in following feature article Australian System of National Accounts, 2005-06 - Valuing land and dwellings owned by households.

39 Other ABS publications related to this topic include: SYMBOLS USED

np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
- nil or rounded to zero (incl. null cells)
% percentage
$ dollars

Appendix 1. Classifications of land use

Published land use categories Australian Valuation Property Classification Codes (AVPCC)

Residential 1-Residential
Commercial 2-Commercial
Industrial 3-Industrial
Extractive Industry and Infrastructure/Utilities 4-Extractive Industry
6-Infrastructure/Utilities
Agriculture Cropping 51-Agriculture Cropping
Livestock Grazing 52-Livestock Grazing
Other Primary Production 50-Native Vegetation
53-Mixed Farming and Grazing
54-Livestock - special purpose fencing, pens, cages, yards, or shedding, stables
55-Horticulture Fruit and Vegetable Crops
56-Horticulture - special purpose structural improvements
57-Forestry - Commercial Timber Production
58-Aquaculture
Community Services, Sports, Heritage and Culture 7-Community Services
8-Sports, Heritage and Culture
National Parks, conservation areas, forest reserves and natural water reserves 9-National Parks, conservation areas, forest reserves and natural water reserves
Unallocated N/A
Not classified N/A


Appendix 2. Classifications of land cover

DLCDv2 Original Class value DLCDv2 Original Class label DLCDv2 Reclassification 1 value DLCDv2 Reclassification label

1 Built-up Surface 1 Built-up Surface
2 Extraction Sites 2 Extraction Sites
3 Bare Areas 3 Bare Areas
4 Inland Waterbodies 4 Inland Waterbodies
5 Salt Lakes 5 Salt Lakes
6 Irrigated Cropping 6 Irrigated Cropping
7 Irrigated Pasture 7 Irrigated Pasture
8 Irrigated Sugar 8 Irrigated Sugar
9 Rainfed Cropping 9 Rainfed Cropping
10 Rainfed Pasture 10 Rainfed Pasture
11 Rainfed Sugar 11 Rainfed Sugar
12 Sedges - Open 12 Sedges - Open
13 Alpine Grasses - Open 13 Alpine Grasses - Open
14 Hummock Grasses - Closed 14 Hummock Grasses - Closed
15 Hummock Grasses - Open 15 Hummock Grasses - Open
16 Hummock Grasses - Sparse 35 Shrubs and Grasses - Sparse to Scattered
17 Hummock Grasses - Scattered 35 Shrubs and Grasses - Sparse to Scattered
18 Tussock Grasses - Closed 18 Tussock Grasses - Closed
19 Tussock Grasses - Open 19 Tussock Grasses - Open
20 Tussock Grasses - Sparse 35 Shrubs and Grasses - Sparse to Scattered
21 Tussock Grasses - Scattered 35 Shrubs and Grasses - Sparse to Scattered
22 Chenopod Shrubs - Open 34 Shrubs - Open
23 Chenopod Shrubs - Sparse 35 Shrubs and Grasses - Sparse to Scattered
24 Chenopod Shrubs - Scattered 35 Shrubs and Grasses - Sparse to Scattered
25 Shrubs - Closed 25 Shrubs - Closed
26 Shrubs - Open 34 Shrubs - Open
27 Shrubs - Sparse 35 Shrubs and Grasses - Sparse to Scattered
28 Shrubs - Scattered 35 Shrubs and Grasses - Sparse to Scattered
29 Trees - Closed 29 Trees - Closed
30 Trees - Open 30 Trees - Open
31 Trees - Sparse 31 Trees - Sparse
32 Trees - Scattered 32 Trees - Scattered
33 Wetlands 33 Wetlands