A multi-million dollar investment in Questacon announced in this week's budget will plug a deficit forecast when contracts from two fossil fuel companies come to an end.
Funding of $10 million delivered over two years more than covers the loss of Shell in December and Inpex in June next year, when sponsorships are unlikely to be renewed.
While public debate continues over whether science institutions should take money from hard-to-abate industries, Science Minister Ed Husic said Questacon had taken the feedback.
Mr Husic said this funding put Questacon on a much surer footing to reduce reliance on fossil fuel companies.
Money has been allocated for a long-running school outreach program to continue for the next two years and to provide educators with resources to keep students engaged in STEM.
"What we've done under this budget is to be able to project the work Questacon's doing to a much wider group of people than the ones that can can find a way to get to Canberra to visit," he said.
"We are focused on seeing the institutions be supported in a way that they can perform a national mission."
Mr Husic recently cautioned the CSIRO against taking money from a major gas company, reportedly looking for a way to substantiate its net-zero claims.
He said while Australia's national science institution had a valuable role working with industry, especially if it meant scaling-up research, particular projects involving major gas companies had gone beyond commercialisation.
"I think those gas companies have made more than enough in profit to be able to finance activities," Mr Husic said.
"I don't think they necessarily need to engage the CSIRO in that type of work."
After it was revealed Canberra road projects had been axed to pay for light rail extension on Friday, Mr Husic said trade-offs for industry and science portfolio projects were not being "looked at in that way".
"No one said to me, 'We need to do these infrastructure projects, so what you're doing with Questacon can or cannot go ahead'," he said.
"I've just been working with Questacon since becoming Science Minister, listening to what they need, recognising the value of Questacon and making sure that we can deliver in a budget where we're trying to get the balance right."
The current director of science, education and conservation in the Australian Institute of Botanical Science, Jo White, will take on the director role at Questacon from next week, the first change of leadership in 20 years.
Acting director Bobby Cerini said responding to changes in how people worked, how learning occurred and the way people engaged with their programs, would likely be a challenge for any leader.
"We are still seeing quite a lot of uptake of digital activities and programs that we didn't have before the pandemic," she said.
"I'm really glad to say our visitor numbers are now back to what they were in 2019."
Dr Cerini said Questacon would soon start hosting more public lectures in Canberra and the funding would allow school outreach programs in northern Tasmania and the Eyre Peninsula to begin next year.
She said hands-on learning experiences available to children visiting Questacon were rare in regional and remote areas and often very difficult for families to get the chance to participate in.
"Whether it is puppet shows or science shows in our theatre, or hands-on exhibits in the exhibition galleries, we can see first-hand the huge amounts of engagement that creates," she said.
"We want to make sure that these kinds of wonderful experiences are available much more widely across Australia."
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