NSW Treasury has published the third iteration of the Indigenous Expenditure Report, which quantifies government spending on First Nations people and programs in New South Wales. The 2023-24 NSW Indigenous Expenditure Report seeks to improve outcomes for First Nations people and communities through increasing the quality and quantity of information available to inform government investment.

Opportunities through expenditure reporting

The report seeks to empower First Nations communities by:

  • Sharing data and information on government expenditure on First Nations communities and programs.
  • Quantifying the proportion of government investment that goes to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.
  • Identifying areas of government expenditure where First Nations people are over-or-under-represented.
  • Identifying First Nations programs funded by government that have and have not been evaluated.

Key findings

For First Nations specific (targeted) services and programs in 2023-24:

  • The NSW Government budgeted an estimated $1.2 billion for First Nations specific services and programs, representing around 1.0 per cent of total NSW Government expenditure.
  • The largest expenditure areas were:
    • $301.8 million for housing and community amenities
    • $237.8 million for education
    • $226.3 million for social protection.  
  • Of this, the majority (60.7 per cent) went to NSW Government service providers and around 30.9 per cent was directed to Aboriginal community controlled organisations (ACCOs).
  • Around 11.5 per cent of programs had a completed evaluation, and a further 57.7 per cent had an evaluation planned, in development or underway.

Most NSW Government expenditure attributed to First Nations people sits within general (non-targeted) services and programs. For 2021-22:

  • The NSW Government is estimated to have spent $5.8 billion on First Nations people across 18 service areas, accounting for around 4.9 per cent of total NSW Government expenditure.
  • The high proportion of expenditure on First Nations people through non-targeted service areas highlights the important role that these services and programs play in impacting First Nations social, economic and cultural outcomes.
  • A large driver of non-targeted expenditure for First Nations people relates to the over-representation of First Nations people in the criminal justice, out-of-home care (OOHC) and child protection systems.
  • Expenditure attributed to First Nations people within the education and health systems was overall more aligned with population and student shares.



Read more about our support for First Nations people and community.

Last updated: 03/06/2024