Department of the Legislative Assembly, Northern Territory Government

Mental Health Funding


10th Assembly


211. Mental Health Funding

Ms Carney to MINISTER for Family and Community Services

Mental Health Funding

1. Minister last year on 12 October you launched Mental Health Week in Raintree Park – remember the Snakes and Ladders Game.
        You said in your speech that since coming to office Labor had increased funding to mental health by 90%:
a. How is that calculated (A:Green CLP BB compared to 2004/2005 budget).
b. How does the change to accrual accounting which has occurred during this time impact on the figures.
c. So by including the book-work changes caused by the change to accrual accounting in your claim of an increase of 90% - Is this increase claim a deliberate attempt to mislead people.
d. If you claim it is true to say you have nearly doubled expenditure on mental health services in three years – a 90% increase - then, why haven’t your reported outputs increased significantly more than reflected in the outputs reported below:
              i. Total (MH) Inpatient Separations for the NT:
1. 2000/2001 p110 883
2. 2003/2004 p132 1196
              ii. Total NT Mental Health Population (hospital + community)
3. 2000/2001 p110 3664
4. 2003/2004 p132 4829


Answered on 06/02/2006

1 (a) 2001/02 BP3 Mental Health Services published a budget of $13,552M.
2004/05 BP3 Mental Health Services published a budget of $25,750M.
Based on these figures the Mental Health Services budget has increased by 90%.

1. (b) The 2001/02 budget figure has been calculated on a cash basis capturing only direct costs. The 2004/05 budget figure is based on an accrual basis. The budget figure incorporates both direct and indirect costs. Indirect costs for 04/05 include Corporate and Divisional overheads, charges for DCIS services and depreciation costs.

1. (c) As is appropriate, when referring to budget figures, the Government will use the figures published in the Budget Papers. These figures demonstrate a 90% increase and were not misleading.

1. (d) It has never been Government policy that increases in mental health spending should result in an equivalent increase in mental health inpatients. The Government does not measure mental health and wellbeing by the number of inpatients.
Last updated: 04 Aug 2016