June 15, 2005

Australian Federal Budget, Part 2

Last week I posted a sketchy summary of the recent Australian federal budget as it pertains to amateur sport. Most of that information was gathered from two press releases by the Australian Olympic Committee, and I found it confusing and sometimes contradictory.

A short time later I found this document on the minister's web site, which is much more helpful. It turns out that the "$50M" I mentioned in my previous post is actually "an additional $52.3M over four years … for Australia's high-performance sports programmes." So the earlier press releases were mostly discussing new funding, specifically for high-performance sport, without touching on the base level.

The 2005-06 federal budget for sport, as a whole, is actually more than $380M. This includes money for grassroots development and participation, which means it is a fair comparison to the Sport Canada budget.

The 2005-06 federal budget for Sport Canada is $140M.

On a per capita basis, Australia spends about $19 Australian dollars per person, while each Canadian gets about $4.30 Canadian. (At today's exchange rate, that's about $4.50 in Aussie dollars.)

Even if we subtract out the contributions for staging the 2006 Commonwealth Games ($150M in 2005-06), which could be seen as an exceptional one-time budget item, Australia is still outspending Canada about 2.5-to-1.

And here's that 2004 medal table, one more time.

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