4611.0 - Environment Expenditure, Local Government, Australia, 1999-2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/12/2001   
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  • Local government spends $2.5 billion on environment protection (Media Release)


December 5, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Local government spends $2.5 billion on environment protection

Australian local governments spent a total of $2.5 billion on measures to protect the environment in 1999-2000, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This was an average of $133 per person on environment protection services and activities.

While traditional council activities such as solid waste management and waste water treatment were the dominant activities ($1.1 and $1 billion respectively), significant money was also spent on conservation measures, including replanting trees, preventing land degradation, controlling weeds in native reserves, and protecting local water courses from run-off from roadworks ($147 million).

Expenditure on environment protection services and activities by local governments exceeded revenue received by a total of $232 million, particularly in Victoria ($131 million) and New South Wales ($98 million). This means that some councils had to finance environment protection services from other council revenues.

Ratepayers (both households and businesses) funded 86% ($2 billion) of the total revenue for local government environment protection activities.

State and Commonwealth governments contributed 6% of total revenue for these activities with State government providing $102 million and the Commonwealth $26 million.

Queensland councils spent more than any other State for environment protection ($926 million), they also spent the most on a per capita basis ($260). Tasmanian councils had the second highest per capita expenditure (at $191 per person).

Councils spent a further $1.8 billion on management of natural assets and activities aimed at making more efficient use of these resources. Examples of these activities include provision of water supply, water use conservation methods and land management activities such as assessing development applications.

Councils with small population sizes spent the most per capita on environment protection and natural resource management activities. These councils were more likely to have responsibility for waste water management and water supply activities.

Further information on environmental expenditure by Australian local governments is in Environment Expenditure, Local Government, Australia 1999-2000 (cat. no. 4611.0). Copies of this publication are available in ABS bookshops in capital cities. A summary of the main features may be found on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.