In 2006-07, government funding for cultural activities totalled $5,613.5m, with state and territory governments providing almost half (47% or $2,628.8m), the Australian Government contributing 34% ($1,901.0m), and local government making up the balance of 19% ($1,083.7m).
Recurrent expenditure accounted for 90% of cultural funding by all levels of government in 2006-07, while funding for capital expenditure accounted for the remaining 10%.
Apart from direct funding, the Australian Government also provides assistance through tax concessions such as the Cultural Gifts Program, which offers tax deductions to encourage the donation of items of cultural significance to public art galleries, museums and libraries. According to the 2006-07 Annual Report of the former Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) (now the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy), 596 donations were made to the program in that year with a total value of $33.4m.
In 2006-07, the majority of Australian Government cultural funding supported Arts activities ($1,432.6m or 75% of total Australian Government funding). Broadcasting and film was the main beneficiary receiving over half of the total cultural funding provided ($1,168.4m or 61%).
In contrast, state and territory governments directed the majority of their funding to Heritage activities ($2,112.2m or 80%) in 2006-07. Nature parks and reserves received $1,086.8m, representing 41% of the total state and territory government funding for cultural activities.
The Australian Government and state and territory governments have continued to increase the amount of funding towards cultural activities however, the increases were less between 2005-06 and 2006-07 than for the previous period (2004-05 to 2005-06). Australian Government funding increased by 0.2% (compared with 8% during the previous period) and state and territory government funding increased by 2% (compared with the previous annual increase of 10%). The largest percentage increase of cultural funding over the period 2005-06 to 2006-07 was at the local government level, with an 8% increase
4.2 CULTURAL FUNDING -
2003-04 to 2006-07