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Rural Debt Survey

Queensland primary producers make a substantial contribution to the State’s economy. The 2015-2016 GVP of Queensland's primary industry commodities at the farm gate was $13.2 billion (source ABARES).

Historically, farmers and rural enterprises have financed debt through commercial credit providers, principally by the major trading banks, their finance company subsidiaries and specialist rural debt agencies and institutions including QRIDA.

From 1994-2011, the Queensland Rural Debt Survey was conducted biennially collating information pertinent to agricultural financial debt.

Rural debt is defined as the total indebtedness of all farmers/rural enterprises throughout Queensland,
where the service of the rural debt relies primarily on rural generated income.

The objective of the Queensland Rural Debt Survey is to establish the extent, nature and size of gross rural debt in Queensland. The survey also aims to identify the industry’s fiscal performance, debt rating as well as other relevant factors and issues. Crucial to the 2017 survey will be the analysis of movement in rural debt since the previous 2011 survey period.

QRIDA is undertaking the 2017 Queensland Rural Debt Survey in collaboration with the Queensland Government Statisticians Office (QGSO) and with the support of all the major rural lending institutions in Queensland.

The final report is due to be presented to the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries for tabling in the Queensland Parliament by 30 June 2018.

The Rural Debt Survey plays an important role in shaping the government policy and commercial product offerings available to primary production enterprises in Queensland.

Timeline for the Rural Debt Survey 2017

To download the 2011 Rural Debt Survey (and previous surveys), or to request further information, please complete the contact us form with details of your request in the comments section.


2011 Rural Debt Survey results

  • total debt increased $2.67 billion or 19 per cent to $16.97 billion on the previous survey conducted December 2009
  • average debt per borrower increased by $152,000 to just over $1 million per borrower.
  • five industries account for more than 80 per cent of total recorded rural debt, these being beef (54% of total debt), cotton (7.6%), grain/grazing (6.8%), grain (6.5%) and sugar (5.7%)
  • more specifically, the level of rural debt for the beef industry has increased by $1.3 billion (17%) over the past two years to a total of $9.18 billion; and
  • the Survey found that 86 per cent of the total debt was classified as ”A“ (borrowers who are considered viable under most or all circumstances) or ”B+“ (potentially viable long-term but are experiencing debt servicing difficulties) rated debt.

To download the 2011 Rural Debt Survey (and previous surveys), or to request further information, please complete the contact us form with details of your request in the comments section.

Note: Legislation passed by the Queensland Parliament on 22 March 2017 will now require QRIDA to undertake a rural debt survey in Queensland for the period January 2012 to December 2017, and subsequently every two years thereafter, subject to the establishment of a national rural debt survey.

Last updated
14 March 2018