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4611.0 - Environment Expenditure, Local Government, Australia, 2002-03  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/08/2004   
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August 25, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Local government spending on environment up

Australian local government spending on measures to protect the environment increased to $2.6 billion (b) during 2002-03, up 6% from 2000-01, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Local government spending on natural resource management also increased to $1.9b (up 9%) over this period.

This was an average expenditure of $134 per person on environment protection and $99 per person on natural resource management activities.

The traditional council activities of solid waste management ($1.3b) and waste water treatment ($1b) were the major expenses for environment protection nationally. Water supply ($0.8b), and land management activities ($1.1b), were the main expenses for natural resource management.

Local government spent more on environment protection and natural resource management than revenue raised specifically for these activities. This meant that these measures were partially funded from general revenue sources.

Queensland and Tasmanian councils spent more per person than other states on environment protection and natural resource management activities. Queensland councils spent $222 per person on environment protection, whilst Tasmanian councils spent $212. Tasmania spent $235 per person on natural resource management, whilst Queensland spent $186.

Northern Territory councils spent the least per person on environment protection ($57), while Victorian councils spent the least on natural resource management ($46).

By comparison, councils in the Murray-Darling Basin spent $167 per person on environment protection and $152 per person on natural resource management.

Further information is in Environment Expenditure, Local Government, Australia 2002-03 (cat. no. 4611.0).

Media note: The high levels of expenditure by Queensland and Tasmania compared to the other states is due to councils in these two states having the major responsibility for water supply and sewerage. In other states these services are provided by a combination of councils and other state agencies.

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