This paper attempts to identify Commonwealth expenditure in the area of Indigenous affairs over the 42 years from 1968 to 2010 and to plot that expenditure by agency.
The paper analyses trends in both the nominal and real expenditure, in the expenditure as a percentage of total Commonwealth outlays and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and in the per-capita expenditure. In nominal and real terms, identifiable Commonwealth Indigenous-specific expenditure has trended up, but dipped in the last 2 years. As a percentage of total outlays or Gross Domestic Product it started to plateau about 10 years ago. The per capita trend is found to be too problematic to characterise simply.