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Rural Production

Victoria produces almost a quarter of Australia's total rural output. Agricultural and pastoral products include wool, sheep meat and beef, wheat, oats, barley, maize, tobacco, hops and fodder crops, citrus, grapes, apples, stone fruits and vegetables and dairy products. Victoria is Australia's main producer of mutton and lamb, dairy products and dried vine fruits and substantial amounts are exported.

Victoria is also an important producer of timber and paper products from its 8 million hectares of forests. This includes approximately 225 000 hectares of forest plantations.

Minerals

The Latrobe Valley, east of Melbourne, has one of the world's largest deposits of brown coal and is the resource base for Victoria's internationally competitive supply of electricity. The coal is used to produce most of the State's electricity.

Large oil and natural gas fields exist in the Gippsland Basin, off the coast of eastern Victoria. These provide 50 per cent of Australia's domestic oil production, while assuring Victoria of natural gas supplies well into the next century.

Most of Australia's large mining and minerals processing companies are headquartered in Melbourne. It is also a major centre for mining project management, research and development.

Manufacturing

Victoria is one of Australia's major manufacturing States. Its factories employ about 34 per cent of the national labour force. Large industries include automotive manufacture, food processing, textiles, clothing and footwear, paper and paper products, oil refining, petrochemicals, aluminium smelting, information technology and telecommunications and aircraft production.

The food processing sector contributes 26 per cent of the State's manufactured exports. Products such as processed meats, cheese, fruit etc are exported overseas as well as to other Australian states.

A major aluminium smelting industry is located at Portland and Point Henry, which produce about half a million tonnes of aluminium a year.

Victoria accounts for some 45 per cent of Australia's communications industry production. Major telecommunications equipment manufacturers and computer companies are also located in the state due to Melbourne's large container and cargo port.

Other industries include forest products (including pulp and paper production), chemicals, plastics and rubber and scientific and medical instruments.

 

Victorian exports have recorded an average of 4.18% growth in the five years between 1998-99 and 2002-03. In 2002-03, exports out of the Victorian market totalled A$18.9 billion and comprised 16.3% of all Australian exports. Recent forecasts indicate that the Victorian export market will strengthen substantially over the next few years.

Manufacturing is historically Victoria's largest export sector, currently accounting for over 40% of Victoria's exports. The food industry is Victoria's second largest export sector. Victoria alone accounts for 13% of all globally traded dairy manufactured product.

 

Economic Overview

 

The Australian economy continues to perform above expectations and is forecast to grow at an average rate of 3.5% for 2004-05, continuing this trend for the period leading up to 2007-08, with increased employment and low inflation.

 
  Victoria Australia

 GSP/GDP 02-03  

 AUD$187,013m  

 AUD$ 734,201m  

 GSP/GDP Growth 02-03

 2.6%

 2.8%

 GDP Per Capita 02-03

 AUD$37,963

 AUD$37,172

 Population Sept 03

 4,933,648

 19,941,335

 Labour Force Feb 04

 2,539,300

 10,209,600

 Unemployment Rate Feb 04 

 6.4%

 6.6%

 Interest rate March 04

 5.25%

 Inflation Dec 03

 2.2%

 2.4%

The Victorian economy alone is larger than that of Singapore and Ireland and constitutes 25% of the national economy. The State continues to grow at a steady and stable rate, forecast at 3.5% for 2004-05,  and projected to remain on this trend for the next five years. 

Victoria has: