How is tax revenue spent?

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Tax revenue

Australians expect their governments to provide certain goods and services. Each of the three levels of government has responsibility for providing some of these goods and services. Governments pay for these from taxation revenue. Some of the services provided by the different levels of government are shown in the table.

Services provided by the three levels of Australian government

Level of government

Services provided

Australian Government

Social security and welfare, family payments


Health, ageing and community services




Postage and communications



Subsidies and grants to state or territory and local governments

Administration costs to run federal government departments

State or territory



Water and electricity

Transport, roads and communications

Public order and safety − police

The court system

Art, culture and sports


Administration costs to run state or territory government departments

Subsidies and grants to local government


Family and community services

Aged and disability services

Recreation and culture

Waste management

Street and traffic management

Local infrastructure services

Business and economic services

Roads and bridges

Administration costs for the local council

  • Fact 9

    The Australian Taxation Office started as the Commissioner of Land Tax in 1910 with a dozen employees. It was based in the Department of Treasury, situated in Melbourne, which was the seat of the Commonwealth Parliament until 1927.

Consolidating super

When super money is moved from one or more super funds into another super fund.

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