1344.8.55.001 - ACT Stats, 2006  
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Contents >> Cultural Funding by Government in the ACT - Oct 2006

This document was added 17/10/2006.


The ABS breaks down cultural funding into two categories:

  • funding for heritage; and
  • funding for the arts.

Data are collected for cultural funding provided by the Australian Government and by each state and territory government. State and territory government funding per person is also available to allow per capita comparisons between the states and territories. However, care should be taken when doing so because there may be variations in the administration of funds, especially between state/territory governments and local governments.

For example, the Northern Territory (NT) only has eight Local Government Areas (see end note), which are, apart from Darwin and Palmerston, small in both area and population. This means there isn't the infrastructure support for cultural funding from these small local governments, requiring the NT Government to cover the costs. This explains the noticeable difference for the NT in the graph below when comparing cultural funding per person across the states and territories.

What makes the ACT unique is the fact that there is no local government. The ACT is in effect a state authority without the third tier of government that exists elsewhere in Australia. Added to this is the fact that the ACT also houses the nation's capital. This means that much of the cultural funding in the ACT is provided by the Federal Government, for example the National Archives of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia and the National Museum of Australia.

ACT Cultural Funding

The ACT government spent a total of $55.5m on cultural funding during 2004–05. This expenditure represented $171 per ACT resident during this period, which was second highest behind the NT ($582).

Cultural Funding per person, by state and territory governments — 2004–05

Graph: Cultural Funding per person, by state and territory governments — 2004–05

Heritage Funding

Across all states and territories, the proportion of cultural funding allocated for heritage activities (82%) was greater than that for arts activities (18%). During 2004–05, the ACT government contributed $39.8m (72% of total cultural funding) towards heritage activities. The majority of this heritage funding was spent on libraries and archives ($21.5m), followed by nature parks and reserves ($13.6m), other museums ($3.0m) and art museums ($1.8m).

During 2004–05, the funding per person by the territory governments for libraries and archives was greater than that by the state governments. In the ACT, $66 per person was allocated for Libraries and archives funding, second highest behind the NT with $72 per person. The national figure was $20 per person during the same period. The lower state government funding per person figures can be partly attributed to local government funding for libraries within the states.

Arts Funding

Funding for the arts by the ACT government during 2004–05 was $15.7m. Performing arts venues received the largest allocation of these funds ($5.0m), followed by the performing arts (including music, drama, dance, music theatre and opera and other) which received $3.4m.

During 2004–05, the ACT government spent $48 per person on funding for the arts. This figure was significantly higher than that of most other states and territories. The NT was the only other state or territory to spend more per person on arts funding ($71).

Arts funding per person by state and territory — 2004-05

Graph: Arts funding per person by state and territory — 2004-05


Further information can be obtained from Cultural Funding by Government, Australia, 2004–05 (cat. no. 4183.0) available from the ABS web site www.abs.gov.au

End Note

Local Government Areas (LGAs). These areas are the spatial units which represent the geographical areas of incorporated local government councils. Back

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