POSITIVE POLICY

Reducing Admission Fees To Questacon

For 30 years, Questacon has been exciting adults and children, and inspiring the scientists, researchers and engineers of tomorrow.

Questacon is Australia’s premier science museum, attracting 454,251 visitors and 136,155 school groups in 2015 alone. While Questacon is attracting more visitors than ever, families under pressure from tight budgets and stagnant wages are missing out.

Current admission prices are adults $23.50, children $17.50 (children under four are admitted for free) and annual membership $160 (for the first year or $127.50 for renewing family memberships). That means a day visit for a family of two adults and two children comes to a total of $82.  

Labor believes that sparking the curiosity of young people and inspiring an interest in science and engineering isn’t just something that benefits the individual, it is something that benefits the nation. If we are to be an innovation nation, powered by the strength of our ideas, we need to expand access to inspiring institutions like Questacon.

While simply lowering admission fees will allow more visitors, in particular from lower socio-economic backgrounds, any reduction in Questacon admission prices will reduce revenue while increasing costs through additional visitation impacting on cleaning, exhibition maintenance and staff numbers required to maintain safety and security. 

That is why lowering admission prices will require action from government, which is the largest source of revenue for Questacon. That is why a Shorten Labor Government will act to improve the accessibility of Questacon for all Australians. 

Labor’s plan

A Shorten Labor Government will support Questacon to lower admission fees for all visitors by $7.50. This will bring adult admission prices to $16 and a child admission to $10.

A $7.50 reduction in the per person admission price would impact Questacon by approximately a $3.675 million per year loss in revenue. This factors in an increase in visitor numbers but not the increased operational costs associated with the reduction. 

A Shorten Labor Government will provide additional financing to Questacon of $3.7 million per year ($14.8 million over the forward estimates) to allow for a reduction in admission fees without a loss to the services provided by Questacon.

Labor believes that all children and adults, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to be inspired by the exhibitions at Questacon, whether they be Canberra locals or visitors to our national capital. A Shorten Labor Government will make sure more do.