AAP FactCheck

Restoring confidence in public statements by independently testing and verifying the facts

Is the average age of Australian farmers over 60 years?

By Tiffanie Turnbull, Brian Kelly and Louise Evans

The Statement

"The average age of our producers is over 60 in this country."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. May 3, 2019.

The Analysis

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia needs more new young farmers on the land to support the current ageing population and ensure a better future for the agricultural sector. The Liberals Regional Investment Corporation will provide Newstart loans of up to $2 million to the next generation of farmers, graziers and pastoralists to get into the industry. [1]

AAP FactCheck examined Mr Morrison’s claim that the average age of an Australian farmer is over 60.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ most recent Agricultural Commodities Survey for 2017-18, the age of the average farmer is 57, more than two-thirds or 77 per cent are male and have 37 years experience in farming. [2]

The survey collects data on all registered Australian agricultural business with an estimated operation value of more than $40,000 per year. [3]

A spokesperson for Mr Morrison checked the Australian Bureau of Statistics data and told AAP FactCheck the prime minister meant to say “about 60”.

AAP FactCheck found Mr Morrison’s claim that the average Australian farmer is older than 60 to be false.

The Verdict

  • False - The checkable claim is false.

The References

1. ‘Australian politics live with Amy Remeikis’, by Amy Remeikis. The Guardian. May 3, 2019: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/may/03/federal-election-2019-liberals-to-dump-another-candidate-politics-live?page=with:block-5ccb88c18f086f179813a12b

2. ‘7121.0 - Agricultural Commodities Australia 2017-18’. Australian Bureau of Statistics: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/7121.0Main+Features12017-18?OpenDocument

3. ‘Explanatory Notes’. 7121.0 - Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2017-18. Australian Bureau of Statistics: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/7121.0Explanatory%20Notes12017-18?OpenDocument

  • First published May 3, 2019 16:50 AEST