Powerhouse Museum. Source: CAMD.
Andrew Taylor, Efficiency dividend a blunt instrument harming museums, Powerhouse inquiry told, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September 2016
Job cuts. Programs slashed. Closed exhibition spaces. Declining visitor numbers.
The list of harms caused to public museums and galleries by the imposition of an efficiency dividend is lengthy, according to the leaders of Australia’s major cultural institutions.
The Council of Australasian Museum Directors has told a NSW parliamentary inquiry that the efficiency dividend, an annual budget cut imposed on cultural institutions, is inefficient, inequitable and a “blunt instrument”.
“The impact of the dividend is also discerned in declining visitor numbers, an inability to move ahead with digitisation and education programs and a decline in access for regional and online visitors,” it said.
“The efficiency dividend is a blunt instrument which enables governments and departments to avoid making funding decisions about specific programs and activities.”
The CAMD represents the leaders of major cultural institutions including the Australian Museum and Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australian War Memorial, Questacon and National Museum of Australia in Canberra, and Museum Victoria.