SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Total government funding for cultural activities reached $5 billion in 2003-04 ($5,000.7m). At the federal level, the Australian Government contributed $1,699.4m (34%) to cultural funding while state and territory governments contributed $2,356.2m (47%). Local governments provided $945.1m (19%).
Funding of over $1 billion ($1,075.8m or 22% of total cultural funding) was allocated to the category of Broadcasting and film by the Australian Government and state and territory governments. The other major recipients of federal and state and territory government funding were Nature parks and reserves ($1,051.8m or 21% of total cultural funding); Other museums (which consists of museums other than art museums) ($527.2m) and Libraries and archives ($473.1m).
Changes over time
Between 2002-03 and 2003-04, the Australian Government contribution to cultural funding increased by 2% ($28.9m) while the state and territory government contribution rose by 3% ($60.6m). Over the previous period (2001-02 to 2002-03) there was an overall increase in government funding of $320.4m (7%) with increases reported for all levels of government (federal, state and territory, and local).
CULTURAL FUNDING, By level of government(a) - 2001-02 to 2003-04
Funding from the Australian Government at the national level increased by $28.9m or 2% in 2003-04, driven by an increase in funding for Broadcasting and film, which was up $33.2m on funding levels for 2002-03. Offsetting the rise was a fall in funding to Nature parks and reserves, which decreased by $14.9m. Although federal government funding increased in 2003-04, the increase was less than that experienced between the previous two years, where there was an increase of $50.1m or 3% between 2001-02 and 2002-03.
Similarly, the state and territory governments' contribution to cultural funding increased by $60.6m or 3% from the previous year to $2,356.2m in 2003-04. The largest increase in cultural funding provided was directed towards Other museums (which increased by $38.0m) and Art museums (increasing $16.0m). Funding for Zoological parks, aquaria and botanic gardens rose $12.0m to $126.6m, as did funding for Performing arts venues which was up $11.8m. Offsetting these increases was a fall in Broadcasting and film funding (down $23m or 27%). Over the previous period (2001-02 to 2002-03) state and territory governments' spending increased by a larger amount, up $87.7m or 4%.
Funding per person
Government funding per person remained relatively stable in 2003-04 for both the Australian Government and state and territory governments. Federally, the Australian Government contribution to cultural funding increased by less than $1.00 per person (from $84.55 in 2002-03 to $84.99 in 2003-04). Over the same period, the state and territory governments' contribution rose by $1.65 per person (from $116.19 in 2002-03 to $117.84 in 2003-04). For local governments, cultural funding in 2003-04 equated to $47.27 per person.
State and territory government cultural funding, By Value of funding - 2003-04
State and territory government cultural funding, By $ Per person - 2003-04
RECURRENT AND CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
The amount of funding for cultural activities in any one year can be affected by high levels of one-off capital expenditure. Capital expenditure refers to expenditure on the creation of fixed assets and on the acquisition of land, buildings and intangible assets. In contrast, recurrent expenditure refers mainly to expenditure on wages and salaries, purchases of goods and services, and current grants and subsidies.
Recurrent expenditure accounts for the largest portion of total government funding for cultural activities and this generally applies across all levels of government. In 2003-04 recurrent expenditure reached $4,537.8m or 91% of total cultural funding. In particular, the Australian Government allocated $1,677.6m (99%) of funding towards recurrent activity, whereas state and territory governments provided $2,082.0m (88%) and local governments contributed $778.2m (82%).
FUNDING BY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT
In 2003-04, the Australian Government allocated the majority of its cultural funding to support Arts activities ($1,259.2m, or 74% of total federal funding), while Heritage activities received $440.3m (26%). The category of Broadcasting and film was the main recipient of federal Arts funding ($1,012.8m or 60%) with Radio and television services in particular receiving $915.3m (54%). Other museums were allocated $202.4m (12%).
State and territory government
In contrast, state and territory governments directed the majority of their funds towards Heritage activities ($1,951.4m or 83%) in 2003-04, while Arts activities received a total of $404.8m (17%). Nature parks and reserves in particular received $983.0m, representing 42% of the total state and territory government funding allocation for cultural activities. The remaining funds went towards Art and Other museums ($484.7m), Libraries and archives ($357.1m), Performing arts venues ($144.5m) and Zoological parks, aquaria and botanic gardens ($126.6m).
Cultural funding per person remained close to the average of $117.84 for most state and territory governments in 2003-04. Exceptions to this were the Northern Territory Government, with expenditure per person of $498.31 (more than four times the average) and the Australian Capital Territory Government, with per person expenditure of $140.80. The Northern Territory Government has responsibility for funding Libraries, whereas in other states and territories these are funded by local governments. The Northern Territory Government spent $10.3m ($51.55 per person) on Libraries in 2003-04. The above-average expenditure per person by the Australian Capital Territory Government is related to the fact that the Australian Capital Territory does not have local governments to provide funding. In Victoria, per person expenditure by the state government ($89.05) was well below the average.
In 2003-04, funding for Nature parks and reserves was a major component of per person expenditure for some regions. The Northern Territory Government spent $54.9m or $276.15 per person, when the average expenditure on Nature parks and reserves was only $49.16 per person. Other state and territory governments to exceed this average were Queensland ($67.20 or $258.3m), Tasmania ($57.75 or $27.7m), New South Wales ($50.43 or $338.4m) and Western Australia ($49.62 or $97.6m).
In 2003-04, local government funding for cultural activities was $945.1m, which was 19% of total cultural funding provided by all levels of government. Almost a third of local government funding was provided by NSW local governments, where funding was $315.2m.
On a per person basis, local government in WA contributed the largest amount of cultural funding ($77.24 per person) which was $29.98 above the average of $47.27 per person. The lowest amount of $10.44 per person was allocated by NT local governments and was $36.82 below the average.