Government spends up on culture

Australia’s federal, state and local governments spent nearly $7 billion on cultural activities during 2011-12, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“State and territory governments contributed nearly half this amount or $3.3 billion, the federal government contributed one-third or $2.4 billion, and local government contributed $1.3 billion,” said Andrew Middleton, Director of Culture, Recreation and Migration Statistics at the ABS.

“Overall, the total government expenditure on cultural activities in 2011-12 went up by five per cent – about one-third of a billion dollars – from the previous year.

“The highest expenditure of federal funds was for radio and television services, at $1.3 billion.

“At the state and territory government level, the biggest expenditure was for environmental heritage – that’s national parks, flora and fauna reserves, zoos, aquaria and botanic gardens, with $1.3 billion.

“Performing arts venues experienced the largest increase in expenditure at state and territory government level, up 36 per cent from $216.2m in 2010-11 to $294.4m in 2011-12.

“Government expenditure on cultural activities works out at $310 per person in Australia in 2011-12, compared with $300 in 2010-11.”

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics