7127.0 - Agricultural Land and Water Ownership Survey, December 2010 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/09/2011  First Issue
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9 September 2011
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
    Agricultural businesses almost entirely Australian owned.

Australia's agricultural industry is mostly Australian owned, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

As at 31 December 2010:
  • 99% of agricultural businesses in Australia were entirely Australian owned
  • 89% of agricultural land was entirely Australian owned
  • 91% of water entitlements for agricultural purposes were entirely Australian owned

All states showed high rates of Australian ownership of agricultural businesses, ranging from 99% in Queensland to 96% in Tasmania. The state with the highest proportion of land held entirely by Australian owned businesses was Victoria, with 99% of its 12 million hectares Australian owned while the Northern Territory had the lowest proportion with 76% of its 59 million hectares Australian owned. Local ownership of water entitlements for agricultural purposes varied from 100% in Northern Territory, 98% in South Australia to 89% in New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory and 69% in Western Australia.

The Australian Land and Water Ownership Survey (ALWOS) was a large survey, with a sample of 11,000 agricultural businesses which represented the Australian farming industry. The businesses reporting they were not fully Australian owned may have been either partially or entirely foreign owned and, as such the survey provides information about business, land and water entitlements by the extent of their foreign ownership.

The survey results are broadly comparable with levels of foreign ownership of agricultural businesses and land collected in the Agricultural Census of 1983-84. The ABS has not previously collected data on foreign ownership of agricultural water entitlements.

More details can be found in Agricultural Land and Water Ownership, December 2010 (cat. no. 7127.0).

Media note:
When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.