Land Account: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Monday, February 13, 2017
Use Type 
Use Case

The Land Account is part of suite of environmental-economic accounts being produced by the ABS under the United Nations (UN) System of Environment-Economic Accounts (SEEA) framework. Land accounting measures the change in the land and its attributes resulting from the impact of human and natural activity. The value of a set of land accounts is the ability to measure land attributes by examining stocks at different points in time to support policy around sustainable economic and environmental management. The ABS current strategy includes the development of State/Territory or jurisdictional Land Accounts generally guided by the availability of data.

Agency/Working Group or Committee 
Agency Duty 
Independent statutory authority for the management of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 and the Census and Statistics Act 1905
Use case portfolio 

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Activity Diagram 
How spatial Data Assists 

The ABS uses the dataset to measure stocks and flows in land cover and use over time and presents these results as statistical accounting tables in physical and monetary units.

DLCD is used as the source of land cover data for the ABS Land Account and is processed using GIS software in a grid format. The ABS Land Account has adopted a 5-yearly model and will be reliant on access to DLCD in alignment with Census years. DLCD is currently available for 2001-02 to 2014-15 in two year intervals. The sustained production of DLCD for future Census periods (such as 2015-16, 2020-21 and 2025-2026  etc) is required to continue reporting land cover stocks and flows.

Valuations data (or V-G data) is the source of land use and land value data for the ABS Land Account. This data is typically stored and maintained as a tabular database by State/Territory V-G offices with a spatial indictor in the form of a cadastral property identifier and address.  In some States/Territories valuations data is supplied annually to the ABS in a spatial format (such as a Geodatabase), while in others data is provided as a tabular database which is linked by the ABS to the property cadastre using GIS software. ABS are still negotiation access to annual updates of valuation data for all States/Territories in Australia.

Benefit Realised 

• Land statistics are included in the Essential Statistical Assets for Australia, 2015. This includes statistical information regarding land use, and management practices, as well as land accounting. Land quality indicators are also included; • ABS Land Accounts provide an internationally agreed statistical summary of change in land use and cover using datasets included in the FSDF Land Cover and Use theme; • Land Accounts will provide a foundation for the development of Experiential Ecosystem Accounts. The ABS are currently developing an account for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) region. and • Department of Environment and Energy will likely to be using Environmental Accounts for the next State of Environment report

Geospatial Solutions