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Counts of Australian Businesses: what does it mean for the Kimberley?

March 20, 2019

On 21 February 2019, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced the release of the latest issue of its catalogue 8165.0 ‘Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits’ (CABEE). But what does it mean for the Kimberley?

Counts and rates of business entries and exits from the Australian economy, as well as Local Government Areas (LGAs), could be used as an indicator of the survival of businesses year on year. It also provides an indicator of levels of economic activity in the region, especially when coupled with turnover information per industry.

Despite a slight decline of 0.6% in relation to 2016, the total number of businesses in the Kimberley in 2018 remained steady at 2,253 and was boosted by the Broome addition of 9 new businesses or 0.7% in relation to 2016.

In 2018, the Construction sector, being the largest sector in the region (in terms of output), stood at 275 businesses in Broome; yet revealed 7.4% decline in relation to 2016 (297), which is likely associated with a decrease in the number of building approvals and softening of levels of activity within the building industry. The second largest count (148 businesses) was also identified in Broome in the  Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services (5% decline in relation to 2016), followed by 119 businesses counted in the Agricultural sector in the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley.

When it comes to the turnover generated by businesses in the Region, figures for 2018 showed that nearly 73% of all businesses generated a turnover between $50k and less than $2m, which is similar to 2016 levels and 2017 levels. These figures indicate that levels of output for the region might remain stable without major oscillations. A breakdown of levels of turnover in the region for 2018 appears below.


Overall, business counts in the Kimberley show stable figures, a relatively diversified economy and no major changes when it comes to the levels of turnover generated by businesses. While there are still no businesses which employ more than 200 employees in the Kimberley, an increase in the number of sole proprietary business across all LGAs (with the exception of Derby West Kimberley) indicate that policies stimulating the establishment of new businesses, entrepreneurship and innovation in the region could be starting to pay dividends.

Further information on Catalogue 8165.0 Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits is available on the ABS website.

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