This paper plots, by agency and year, identifiable Commonwealth expenditure in the area of Indigenous affairs over the 44 years from 1968 to 2012.
The paper attempts to plot trends in the above expenditure—expressed in both the nominal and real terms, expressed as a percentage of total Commonwealth outlays and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and expressed in per-capita terms. In nominal and real terms, identifiable Commonwealth Indigenous-specific expenditure has trended up, but dipped in the last few years. As a percentage of total outlays or Gross Domestic Product it plateaued from about 2000 to 2007 and has since fallen. The per capita trend is found to be too problematic to characterise simply.
The paper also overviews recent relevant policy developments, Budget commitments and expenditure reports and notes the factors limiting the implications that can be drawn from the data presented.