Farmers in Far North Queensland to receive 2006 Agricultural Census forms (Media Release), Jun 2006

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June 21, 2006
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Farmers in Far North Queensland to receive 2006 Agricultural Census forms

The 2006 Agricultural Census launch, held on Monday 19 June, coincided with the despatch of forms to agricultural businesses in Queensland and by now, farmers in Far North Queensland (FNQ) should also be receiving their forms.

Gemma Van Halderen, head of the ABS's Agriculture Program, said "The Agriculture Census is conducted every five years and is the largest business based collection undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It continues a tradition of agricultural censuses and surveys that goes back over 150 years."

In fact the recording of agricultural data in Australia goes back to the First Fleet. On 1 May 1788 it was reported by Captain Phillip that in the Colony there were 7 horses, 29 sheep, 74 pigs, 18 turkeys, 29 geese, 35 ducks, 209 fowls and 5 rabbits.

The farming businesses in FNQ have been sent a different letter this year than that sent to the farmers in the rest of Australia. The letter recognises the farmers could still be facing problems following on from Cyclones Larry and Monica.

The FNQ region affected by the cyclones normally produces about $1.7 billion worth of agricultural commodities annually; around 23% of Queensland's agricultural output. According to the 2001 Agricultural Census, farms in the Johnstone Shire produced $246m of agricultural commodities. Bananas contributed $198m to this total.

Neil Clarke, Mayor of the Johnstone Shire Council, has endorsed the 2006 Agricultural Census. "I encourage each and every farmer to complete the form as best they can and as soon as they can.The numbers will go some way in helping the community through the recovery," he said.

Points to remember;
  • Forms posted back by 14 July 2006
  • Preliminary data will be available early 2007