Wholly Australian owned agricultural businesses represent the vast majority of businesses with agricultural holdings in Australia at 30 June 2016. More than 99% of agricultural businesses nationally were wholly Australian owned with these businesses owning 88% (or 343.3 million hectares) of Australia's agricultural land. Wholly Australian owned businesses control the majority of Australia's agricultural water entitlements (87% or 13.3 million megalitres).
Just over 600 businesses with agricultural holdings reported some level of foreign ownership at June 2016, with these businesses representing less than one percent (0.5%) of all agricultural businesses operating in Australia. Agricultural businesses with some level of foreign ownership were more common in the Northern Territory than other states with 6.9% of businesses with agricultural holdings reporting some level of foreign ownership.
Nationally, agricultural businesses with some level of foreign ownership held 48.6 million hectares (or 12%) of agricultural land in Australia with the Northern Territory reporting higher rate at 29.7%. Agricultural businesses with some level of foreign ownership controlled 12.5% (or 1.91 million megalitres) of Australia's agricultural water entitlements at 30 June 2016.
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 2016, with respondents asked to report ownership status as at 30 June 2016.
This is the third 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. The second ALWOS was conducted in 2013.
The 2016 ALWOS was designed to deliver the same information requirements as the previous two surveys; national-level estimates and data provided by state/territory or by select 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.