The natural and cultural heritage indicators used in the 2001 and 2006 SoE reports included a series of financial and human input measures. Unfortunately, comparable trend data for financial and human inputs are not easily gathered because the relevant information is often amalgamated within larger agency figures or affected by administrative changes. For some jurisdictions, only partial information is available.
Natural and cultural heritage indicator 9 considers funding provided to heritage and other agencies for natural heritage places
Funding for survey and assessment of natural values appears to be declining. Reservation of lands with conservation value continues to depend on public sector budget allocations and opportunistic acquisition. However, additional land continues to be reserved without proportional increases in public sector resourcing. The sparse, partial figures available indicate that operational funding for Australian reserved land management may have increased in amount between 2006 and 2011 but may have declined relative to the dollar value and extent of managed lands.q The majority of Australian parks appear to lack adequate resources to address major emerging pressures, and conservation programs are constrained by available resources. These limitations affect the values of cultural places within reserved lands, as well as natural values.
Nevertheless, some specific public sector funding programs such as National Heritage Trust 2, Caring for our Country and the Jobs Fund initiative have made major positive contributions to particular natural heritage programs (see Table 9.2). However, there are currently no similar forward commitments for ongoing public sector funding of heritage conservation at this scale.
Table 9.2 World Heritage area funding ($) from the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) and Caring for our Country, 2006–07 to 2010–11
|Figures are based on approvals per financial year and include funding delivered through regional natural resource management bodies and, in some cases, funding for cultural heritage. No funding to Australian Government–managed World Heritage areas is included (i.e. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Kakadu National Park, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park).
||Caring for our Country
||3 663 139
||3 350 232
||2 924 000
||5 496 810
||2 458 600
||17 892 781
|New South Wales
||1 153 397
||2 055 451
||2 182 200
||6 897 091
||3 469 500
||5 015 500
||5 170 000
||8 329 855
||4 003 982
||25 988 837
||2 296 309
||1 200 000
||1 700 000
||9 435 310
||10 202 087
||9 672 743
||16 181 816
||9 602 312
||55 094 268
– = no data available
Source: Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2011
Natural and cultural heritage indicator 10 considers funding provided to heritage and other agencies for historic heritage places
Funding for surveying and assessing historic values is difficult to measure on a national basis, but is declining for the National Heritage List. Although the dollar amount has increased, when adjusted for inflation and the number of listed places, the available funding for historic heritage decreased between 2006 and 2011.
Many Australian historic sites in public ownership lack adequate resources to address major conservation priorities. Private owners of historic sites do not receive incentives that are proportional to the public value of the places they own and manage. Grant funding, though substantial during the Jobs Fund initiative, is now in decline.
Natural and cultural heritage indicator 11 considers funding provided to heritage and other agencies for Indigenous heritage places
Resources for listing and protecting Indigenous heritage places are inadequate, and their allocation is often a post-event reaction to adverse impacts. Insufficient attention is paid to intangible values and effective means of protection other than listing or reservation.
Australia's listed Indigenous sites do not allocate adequate resources to address major conservation priorities, nor do land-management programs such as Caring for our Country. Conservation programs for intangible heritage are severely constrained by limits on available resources.
Funding for heritage: Jobs Fund (heritage projects)
In April 2009, the Prime Minister announced a $650-million economic stimulus package (the Jobs Fund), to support local jobs, build skills and improve facilities in local communities. This included $60 million for heritage projects.94 The Jobs Fund program is by far the largest public sector funding initiative for heritage during the SoE 2011 reporting period. Funding of $58.2 million across 2008–09 and 2009–10 was approved for 191 projects (Figures 9.16 and 9.17).95