7127.0 - Agricultural Land and Water Ownership, 2015-16 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/09/2017   
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OWNERSHIP OF AGRICULTURAL LAND

Of the 392 million hectares of agricultural land owned or leased by businesses in scope of the 2016 Agricultural Land and Water Ownership Survey 343 million hectares (or 88%) was held by wholly Australian owned businesses at 30 June 2016.

Businesses with some level of foreign ownership held 48.6 million hectares (or 12.4%) of all agricultural land owned or leased. This proportion has remained steady since 2013.

In 2016, the majority (over 95%) of the total area of agricultural land owned by businesses with some level of foreign ownership was owned by fewer than 50 businesses. Each of these businesses had land holdings over 100,000 hectares in size.

The majority of agricultural land owned by businesses with some level of foreign ownership was held by businesses in the 10% to less than 50% level of foreign ownership range (52.7% or 25.6 million hectares). Agricultural land holdings held by businesses that were more than 50% foreign owned was estimated to be 21.1 million hectares.

The Northern Territory and Queensland had both the largest tracts and largest proportions of land owned by businesses with some level of foreign ownership. The Northern Territory had 16.8 million hectares of land held by foreign owned businesses or 29.7% of all agricultural land in the territory while Queensland reported 16.6 million hectares or 11.9% of all agricultural land in the state owned by businesses with some level of foreign ownership. The Northern Territory and Queensland accounted for 68.6% of all foreign owned agricultural land in Australia.

The proportion of agricultural land in each state and territory owned by wholly Australian owned businesses is illustrated in the map below.

Map: Percentage of agricultural land wholly Australian owned


The majority of agricultural land owned by businesses with some level of foreign ownership was accounted for by businesses in the sheep, beef cattle and grain farming industry (ANZSIC 014). At 30 June 2016, an estimated 47.5 million hectares of agricultural land holdings within this industry were held by businesses with some level of foreign ownership and represented 97.8% of all foreign owned agricultural land in Australia in 2016.

The sheep, beef cattle and grain farming industry (ANZSIC 014) also accounted for the majority of wholly Australian owned agricultural land in Australia (312.6 million hectares).

The proportion of agricultural land owned by wholly Australian-owned businesses by industry is illustrated in the graph below.

Graph Image for Proportion of agricultural land wholly Australian owned

Footnote(s): (a) Due to confidentiality restrictions some data may not be published. See Explanatory Notes for more information.

Source(s): Agricultural Land and Water Ownership (cat. no. 7127.0)