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Questacon revenue drops

‘Questacon revenue drops by $1 million, Government funding down $3 million’ ABC News 25 September 2014

Questacon’s revenue has dropped by more than $1 million in the last financial year, according to figures obtained by the ABC.

The National Science Centre recorded a revenue of less than $22 million for the 2013–14 financial year.

That’s compared to a revenue of $23 million in the previous financial year.

The overall turnover for Questacon also dropped from nearly $38 million, to $33 million.

Questacon director Professor Graham Durant said

he timing of sponsorships and the hiring of exhibits can affect the overall results.

“Sometimes, depending on the timing of receiving sponsorship money, it’ll skew the total,” he said.

“Some may come in one year, and not the next year. It’s something that would be smoothed out over a different reporting period.

“The payments coming our way from exhibit hire can also vary.”

Visitor numbers dropped by about 1 per cent.

“Our earned income is pretty stable, and our visitor numbers year on year have been growing, [but] the overall visitation to Questacon dropped a little bit,” Professor Durant said.

The amount of operational and capital funding from the Government also dropped from $21 million, to $18 million.

“There is a small amount of efficiency dividends, and the travel savings. These are whole of government reductions in funding and we cop our share of that,” Professor Durant said.

“We don’t like that, but it’s what you have to do. We are part of the system, so when those efficiency dividends come, we just have to absorb them.

“Nobody likes that, and we wish we didn’t have them, but we are pretty well supported by the Government.”

Professor Durant said despite the drop in revenue and Government funding, Questacon has a bright future.

“The number of people we have coming through is very strong,” he said.

“We have about 130,000 school children in organised groups coming each year, and we’ve just opened the new Technology Learning Centre.”

[Graham Durant, Director, Questacon has advised that:

• The reduction in funding is due to a one-off capital injection of $4m in 2012-13 for the fit-out of the Questacon Technology Learning Centre.

• There is also an aggregated revenue drop of $1m which can be explained by a reduction in earnings from the efficiency dividend, exhibition hire, sponsorship and external exhibition development.

• Questacon also earns revenue from Centre admissions, fees for programs, shop sales and memberships and these numbers are sound.]