4611.0 - Environment Expenditure, Local Government, Australia, 1998-99  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/07/2000   
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  • Local Government spends $2.1 billion on environment protection (Media Release)


July 18, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Local Government spends $2.1 billion on environment protection

Australian local governments spent a total of $2.1 billion on measures to protect the environment in 1998-99, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This was an average of $114 per person on environment protection services and activities.

Traditional council activities such as waste water treatment ($965 million) and waste management ($881 million) were the dominant activities. But there was also significant money spent ($106 million) on conservation measures, including replanting trees, preventing land degradation, controlling weeds in native reserves, and protecting local water courses from run-off from roadworks.

In some councils revenues received for environment protection services and activities were inadequate to fully fund the services provided. A short fall of $313 million was therefore taken from other council revenues.

Ratepayers (both households and businesses) funded 90 per cent ($1.6 billion) of the total revenue for local government environment protection activities.

State and Commonwealth governments contributed 8 per cent ($138 million) of total revenue for local government environment protection activities, of which State government provided $118 million and the Commonwealth government $20 million.

While New South Wales councils spent more than any other state for environment protection ($841 million), Tasmanian councils spent the most per capita (at $202 per person). West Australian councils both received and spent the least per capita on environment protection ($27 and $44 respectively).

Councils spent a further $1.3 billion on management of natural assets and activities aimed at making more efficient use of these resources. Examples of these activities include provision of the water supply, water use conservation methods and land management activities such as assessing development applications.

This collection is one of the largest surveys of its kind in the world, with almost half of Australian Local Government Authorities contributing to the estimates. A number of other countries and international organisations, including the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, are taking a strong interest in this collection.

Further information on environmental expenditure by Australian Local Governments is presented in the report Environmental Expenditure, Local Government , Australia 1998-99. (cat. no. 4611.0). The summary of the main findings are available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.