Indigenous Expenditure Report released
The Australian Government has welcomed the release of the first Indigenous Expenditure Report by the Productivity Commission.
The report forms part of the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) commitment to reporting transparency on expenditure on services for Indigenous Australians.
It estimates the Commonwealth and State and Territory Government spent $40,228 per head of population on Indigenous Australians in 2008-09, compared to $18,351 for non-Indigenous Australians.
The estimated government expenditure on Indigenous Australians reflects the high level of need and disadvantage among Indigenous people.
For example, Indigenous Australians on average experience more health problems than non-Indigenous Australians, including higher rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which requires more spending on health services for Indigenous Australians to help close the gap.
The Indigenous Expenditure Report gives all governments a better understanding of the level and patterns of expenditure on services for Indigenous people.
It will also help governments determine the effectiveness of Indigenous-specific initiatives.
To help close the gap COAG committed in 2008 to six strategic targets:
- Closing the life expectancy gap within a generation;
- Halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade;
- Ensuring all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities have access to early childhood education within five years;
- Halving the gap for Indigenous students in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade;
- Halving the gap for Indigenous students in Year 12 attainment or equivalent attainment rates by 2020; and
- Halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.
Closing the gap is a national goal which requires the Australian Government to work in partnership with the state and territory governments, businesses, not-for-profit organisations, Indigenous people and the wider community.
Since 2008 governments have committed unprecedented investments to help close the gap, including:
- $5.5 billion under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing over ten years until 30 June 2018.
- $1.57 billion under the National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes over four years until 30 June 2013.
- $564.4 million under the National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development over six years until 30 June 2014.
- $228.9 million under the National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation over five years until 30 June 2013.
- $291.2 million under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery over six years until 30 June 2014.
In addition to these record investments the Australian Government is committed to encouraging and supporting personal responsibility as the foundation for healthy, functional families and communities, and building new understanding and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.