Funding Sustainability

Government support for the arts has remained stable since 2007-08

Total government funding for arts and culture was $7 billion in 2012-13. Funding for the arts was around a fifth of this (approximately $1.5 billion). It has been relatively stable since 2007-08, with a slight increase in 2011-12.[1]

Australian Government (federal) funding to the arts has declined slightly from $477 million in 2007-08 to $419 million in 2012-13. However, State/Territory government funding has increased from $757 million in 2007-08 to $915 million in 2012-13. Local government funding has increased slightly from $134 million in 2007-08 to $154 million in 2009-10 (and an estimated $167 million in 2012-13*).

The level of federal government funding for the arts is likely to change over the next four years with the commitment of $75.3 million in additional funding to the Australia Council in the 2013-14 Federal Budget, to implement the recommendations made in the Review of the Australia Council.

Although State/Territory government funding increased from 2007-08 to 2011-12, it has since taken a general downward trend and State government budget cuts to the arts in 2014-15 are also likely to have an impact on the future trends in State/Territory funding for arts and culture.


[1] Includes funding for art museums, literature and print media, music performance, drama, dance, music theatre and opera, other performing arts, performing arts venues, music composition and publishing, visual arts and crafts and other arts.

* Note that detailed funding at the local government level was not reported by the ABS after 2009-10. Our data uses estimates of local government funding for later years based on the funding levels provided in previous years. Please note these are estimates only.