Thursday, May 30, 2024

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HomeIssue 8NT pampered by the public purse

NT pampered by the public purse

p2168-Nicole-ManisonBy ERWIN CHLANDA
Feeling like a whinge? Please don’t. When it comes to public money, no-one in the nation is pampered as much as we Territorians.
The two governments combined (Federal and Territory) are spending $38,996 on each of us. That’s streets ahead of the national average of $23,051.
The other states are hovering around that figure, between $22,212 for Victoria and $25,738 for Tasmania.
The average state expenditure is $9,694 per man woman and child. Are you sitting down?
The corresponding NT Government figure is $24,135 – or two and a half times as much.
That’s if you look at the population irrespective of race. Now let’s look at it from an Indigenous perspective.
The two governments combined are spending $68,186 on each Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in the NT – close to double the figure ignoring race (see above).
It’s some 50% more than the corresponding national figure of $44,886.
And the NT Government’s figure, $41,899, is massively ahead of the national average for the states of $25,189, with only the ACT coming close to us at $34,811.
These numbers are for 2015/16 and were released by the Productivity Commission last night.
The take from the report by NT Treasurer Nicole Manison (pictured) was that Federal Indigenous expenditure in the Territory is declining, $28,144 to $26,287 per capita, she says.
Ms Manison says: “In stark contrast the report also shows that the Territory Government’s direct indigenous expenditure per capita remains the highest of all jurisdictions, and has increased since the last report from $37,786 to $41,899 per capita.
“This worrying trend from the Commonwealth to reduce Indigenous funding is especially concerning, given Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison is on a crusade to cut GST funding to the Territory,” she says.
“If further significant cuts are made to the Territory’s GST, and at the same time direct Indigenous spending from the Federal Government is cut, national efforts to close the gap will be put in jeopardy.”


  1. Tell me why then do Territorians keep whinging when they are so well looked after at the expense of other states?
    I think it is time that the governments, both Federal and Territory, start winding down the funding. As a non indigenous person, I find after reading this article that I am being discriminated against.

  2. This is not news Erwin, this is common knowledge. News would actually be, to find out how much funds the indigenous corporations have in the bank. As it is these corporation which should be funding the Indigenous.

  3. Nothing should be funded using racial identification as the measure.
    Ongoing racial discrimination is not the solution to the problems caused by earlier racial discrimination.
    The Commonwealth maintains racial identification as their measure to deny, to qualify, our rights and responsibilities as Australians, including our rights to live together or visit each other.
    Ending racial discrimination was, and remains, the goal Australian voters should support.

  4. It’s not as if every Indigenous person in the Territory gets that sort of money in their hot little hands to piss up against the wall as some commentators might imagine.
    Because of the Indigenous population in the NT, the NT Government receives that sort of money supposedly for the provision of services to the Indigenous communities.
    Many businesses benefit a lot from the spending of that (Indigenous) money in various ways, either through Indigenous organisations themselves or government funded projects.
    One would suspect the NT Government though, over time, has diverted some of these Indigenous purpose moneys to the enhancing of Darwin with the myriad of roads, overpasses, walking paths and boulevards.
    The Indigenous population served a good purpose in bringing in money from the Feds and now that’s about to dry up, so no wonder the NTG is worried. All will be affected. Indigenous communities, businesses and the Territory government too.

  5. Focusing on the racial split up of public monies is a narrow view that does not allow us to see the root cause of a far bigger issue facing Australian governments.
    The first and most critical issue is the source of Federal, state and territory funding, the tax dollars of the working class in our industrialised society.
    ABS stats show that in 2017, 60% of Australian families pay no nett income tax.
    The taxes of forty per cent of the population – a little over one third – provide for the other two thirds.
    The top 10% of income earners pay 80% of the taxes that are divided among the rest of us.
    A 17th century philosopher made the observation that western democracies work OK until the people wake up to the fact that we can all milk the public purse for various reasons while other mugs continue to provide the industrial economic funds.
    When that happens, the public purse, the working class taxpayer base, begins to shrink rapidly and eventually the treasury runs dry, the system collapses and the country gets taken over by a dictatorship.
    The question of which race gets how much of the public purse then becomes academic. Our rapid de-industrialisation, especially in southern states crippled by Green-Left policies, our ballooning national debt and our galloping welfare budgets are practical warning signals that should be put into context urgently if Australia is to maintain a strong economy combined with a compassionate policy to help the needy.


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