Public funding

Music funding represents just a fraction of government spending on culture – and it supports just a fraction of the music industry

In 2009-10, ABS figures show funding at the national and state level was over $160 million for music performance, music theatre and opera, and music composition and publishing. This represented 2.4 percent of total cultural funding at these levels, and was relative to:

  • Heritage – 10.4 percent
  • Radio and television services – 19.5 percent
  • Environmental heritage – 20.2 percent
  • Art museums, other museums and cultural heritage – 14.2 percent
  • Libraries – 11.4 percent.


Further support for music is provided through other funding streams. For instance, State and Local Governments provide significant support to performing arts venues and facilities. In 2009-10, State and Local government expended $151.5 and $91.1 million on performing arts venues respectively.

Table 12 - Australian and State/Territory Governments spending on music

Value of funding ($m)Percentage of total funding (%)
Australian Government
Music performance64.61.0
Music theatre and opera21.70.3
Music composition and publishing2.00.0
State & Territory Governments
Music performance50.60.8
Music theatre and opera22.10.3
Music composition and publishing0.60.0
Total 161.63.4
Per person$8.42