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8134.0 - Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 1998-99  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/12/1999   
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MEDIA RELEASE

December 23, 1999
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
156/99

Farm use of information technology increases

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that 49% of Australia's 147,160 farms used a computer at the end of March 1999, a 26% increase over the number of farms using a computer at March 1998. The proportion of farms using the Internet also increased from 11% to 20% over the same period. The growth in the use of information technology (IT) by farms is important given the growing interest in the spread of IT throughout Australia, especially in regional Australia.

The Northern Territory (65%), the Australian Capital Territory (62%) and Western Australia (59%) had the highest proportion of farms using a computer, and the largest increase in the number of farms using a computer occurred in Tasmania (up 36% over March 1998).

The Statistical Divisions in each State (outside the capital city Statistical Divisions) with the highest proportion of farms using a computer were Murray (58%) in New South Wales, Mallee (58%) in Victoria, Mackay (58%) in Queensland, Eyre (57%) in South Australia, Northern (50%) in Tasmania and Kimberley and Upper Great Southern (both 65%) in Western Australia.

The Northern Territory (36%) and the ACT (29%) had the highest percentage of farms using the Internet. The largest increase in the number of farms using the Internet occurred in Tasmania (up 104% over March 1998).

The Statistical Divisions outside capital cities in each State with the highest proportion of farms using the Internet were Illawarra (30%) in New South Wales, Mallee (29%) in Victoria, Mackay (25%) in Queensland, Outer Adelaide and Murray Lands (both 23%) in South Australia, Central and Kimberley (both 27%) in Western Australia, and Southern (29%) in Tasmania.

Full details are in Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 1998-99, Preliminary (cat. no. 8134.0) which is available from ABS bookshops.

If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication telephone 02 6252 5249.

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