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Estimate of environmental expenditure 2023/24: Method and results

14 February 2024

Gordon Haws, Flickr

The Commissioner has released his third annual estimate of environmental expenditure by central government agencies.

The estimate found that for the 2023/24 fiscal year, agencies have budgeted $3.6 billion on environmental protection and resource management. This compares to $3.5 billion budgeted in 2022/23.

The estimate further breaks down the spending of 20 agencies and maps these against six enduring environmental outcomes.

This Sankey diagram (click to enlarge) shows environmental expenditure by government agencies attributed to enduring environmental outcomes. The top of the figure provides a sense of the total environmental spending; the bottom shows where that spending is focused. Flows indicate the contribution of individual agencies.

The Commissioner produces these assessments to provide members of parliament with information to help them scrutinise public spending. It provides a data source to help them consider answers to three key questions:

  • What are the Government’s current environmental priorities?
  • Is the Government spending too much or too little to achieve its environmental outcomes?
  • Is this spending effective in achieving environmental outcomes?

This estimate was produced using information from Budget 2023. It will provide a useful baseline against which changing government priorities can be measured.

The Commissioner strongly encourages the Government to begin producing its own whole-of-government environmental expenditure estimates to enhance decision making and public accountability.