4183.0 - Cultural Funding by Government, Australia, 2006-07 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/08/2008   
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This publication contains estimates of Australian public funding for arts and cultural activities, facilities and services for the three years from 2004-05 to 2006-07. Estimates for the three levels of government have been compiled from administrative by-product data obtained by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from annual reports and budget papers, and from information provided by selected Australian Government authorities (including the Australia Council), state and territory governments and local government authorities.

Expenditure by local governments on libraries is provided separately in this issue. Further detailed estimates of local government funding of arts and cultural activities are not available for this edition of this publication but are expected to be available for a future edition.

Funding data in this publication are aligned, where possible, with the categories specified in the Industry Classification of the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, Second edition (cat. no. 4902.0), released in 2008. Cultural activities have been classified into two major groups: Heritage; and the Arts.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Damian Sparkes on Adelaide (08) 8237 7425.



Total government funding for cultural activities was $5.6 billion in 2006-07 ($5,613.5m), a rise of 2.6% on the previous year. The Australian Government contributed $1,901.0m (33.9%) to total cultural funding while the state and territory governments contributed $2,628.8m (46.8%) and local governments provided $1,083.7m (19.3%).

Broadcasting and film (including funding for radio and television services, film and video and multimedia) continues to be the largest recipient of funds, with funding of over $1.2 billion ($1,242.0m or 22.1% of total cultural funding) from the Australian Government and state and territory governments combined. This was a 2.0% increase on the $1,217.3m allocated in 2005-06. The other major recipients of federal and state and territory government funding in 2006-07 were Nature parks and reserves ($1,161.4m representing 20.7% of total cultural funding) and Other museums ($520.2m, 9.3%). Libraries received $1,033.9m in funding from all levels of government, including $619.7m from local government.

Changes over time

Between 2005-06 and 2006-07, the Australian Government contribution to cultural funding increased by $4.4m, a change of 0.2%. State and territory government contribution to cultural funding also increased, with the 2006-07 total up 2.3% ($58.4m) on 2005-06. During the previous period (2004-05 to 2005-06) cultural funding by the Australian government increased by $135.0m (7.7%) while the contribution by the state and territory governments rose $222.1m (9.5%).

CULTURAL FUNDING, By level of government - 2004-05 to 2006-07
Graph: CULTURAL FUNDING, By level of government—2004–05 to 2006–07

In terms of dollar value, the major recipient of cultural funding by the Australian Government was Broadcasting and film, which received $1,168.4m in 2006-07 compared to $1,141.3m in 2005-06, an increase of $27.1m or 2.4%. Despite the $4.4m increase in cultural funding by the Australian Government, a number of categories showed a reduction in funding in 2006-07 when compared to 2005-06. The categories that showed the largest reduction in funding by the Australian Government in 2006-07 were Administration of culture (a fall of $15.8m), Art museums (-$7.5m) and Literature and print media (-$4.5m).

The state and territory governments' funding for Nature parks and reserves showed the largest increase, rising $85.1m (8.5%) to $1,086.8m in 2006-07. Performing arts showed the second largest increase in funding of $51.0m (62.7%). The category that recorded the largest decrease in funding by the state and territory governments in 2006-07, when compared to 2005-06, was Libraries and archives which fell by $45.9m, or 10.6%.


Recurrent expenditure refers mainly to expenditure on wages and salaries, purchases of goods and services, and current grants and subsidies. In 2006-07, recurrent expenditure was $5,044.1m or 89.9% of total cultural funding. The Australian Government allocated $1,870.9m (98.4%) of its cultural funding towards recurrent activity, whereas state and territory governments allocated $2,225.1m (84.6%) and local governments allocated $948.1m (87.5%).

Capital expenditure is primarily expenditure on the creation of fixed assets and on the acquisition of land, buildings and intangible assets. In any one year, the amount of funding for cultural activities can be affected by high levels of one-off capital expenditure. The total capital expenditure by all levels of government was $569.4m in 2006-07, a fall of 9.0% on the $625.6m reported in 2005-06 (note this is a revised figure). In 2006-07 the majority of government capital expenditure came from the state and territory governments which, collectively, outlaid $403.7m (70.9% of the total). Local governments spent $135.6m (23.8%) on capital and the Australian government outlaid $30.1m (5.3%).


Australian Government

The Australian Government continues to allocate the majority of its cultural funding to Arts activities. In 2006-07 the Australian Government allocated $1,432.6m (or 75.4% of its funding for cultural activities) to Arts activities, while Heritage activities received $468.4m. The majority of federal Arts funding (81.6%) was allocated to Broadcasting and film ($1,168.4m) with $1,027.8m of this funding going to Radio and television services. The largest amount of Heritage funding was allocated to Other museums ($209.5m).

State and territory government

State and territory governments allocated $2,628.8m to cultural activities. The amount of funding allocated varied between states and territories from $891.6m in New South Wales to $61.5m in the Australian Capital Territory.


Across all categories, the largest recipient of state and territory government funding was Nature parks and reserves which received $1,086.8m, accounting for 41.3% of the total cultural funding. Other major recipients were Libraries and archives ($385.7m), Other museums ($310.7m), and Art museums ($187.4m).

The state and territory governments traditionally direct the majority of their funds towards Heritage activities. In 2006-07, the state and territory governments allocated $2,112.2m, or 80.3% of their cultural funding to Heritage activities. Of the states and territories, the Northern Territory had the highest proportion of cultural funding allocated to Heritage activities (92.9%) followed by Tasmania (92.4%). Arts activities received $516.7m of the total cultural funding by the state and territory governments with the majority of Arts funding allocated to Performing arts ($132.4m) and Performing arts venues ($132.0m).

In all states and territories, apart from the Australian Capital Territory, the category receiving the largest proportion of cultural funding was Nature parks and reserves with this proportion ranging from 32.4% in Victoria to 50.6% in the Northern Territory. In the Australian Capital Territory, $17.2m was allocated to Libraries and $15.0m to Nature parks and reserves.

Local government

In 2006-07, local government funding for cultural activities was $1,083.7m, which was 19.3% of total cultural funding provided by all levels of government. This was an increase of $79.5m or 7.9% on 2005-06 when local government funding for cultural activities was $1,004.2m.

A majority of local government cultural funding was allocated to Libraries in 2006-07 ($619.7m or 57.2%) and in 2005-06 ($595.4m or 59.3%). Most public libraries are funded at the local government level, except in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory where libraries are mainly or solely funded by the state and territory governments. As such, local governments in most states allocated a majority of cultural funding to libraries - New South Wales (59.1% of all local government cultural funding), Victoria (59.0%), Queensland (56.0%) and South Australia (74.5%). Almost half of the local government funding in Western Australia was allocated to Libraries (45.8%), however this proportion was much lower in Tasmania (1%).


Another way of analysing funding figures is to calculate the amount of funding provided per person. This is calculated by dividing the amount of funding by the number of people in the relevant population. Per person cultural funding provided by all levels of government decreased from $276.73 in 2005-06 to $269.25 in 2006-07, a fall of $7.48. The Australian Government per person contribution to cultural funding fell by $4.75, from $95.93 in 2005-06 to $91.18 in 2006-07. Over the same period, the state and territory governments' contribution decreased by $3.92 per person, from $130.01 in 2005-06 to $126.09 in 2006-07. Local government cultural funding increased $1.19 per person, from $50.79 in 2005-06 to $51.98 in 2006-07.


At the state and territory government level, per person funding, which adjusts for the varying populations of Australia's states and territories, reveals that cultural funding per person was significantly higher for the Northern Territory ($326.08) than elsewhere. In the other states and territories, cultural funding per person ranged between $103.29 in Queensland and $187.33 in Tasmania.

On a per person basis, the average value of local government funding was $51.98 per person in 2006-07. Local governments in Western Australia contributed $73.42 of cultural funding per person which was $21.44 above the national average. Per person cultural funding by local governments in the other states and territories ranged between $13.73 in the Northern Territory and $57.93 in New South Wales.