The Federal Government has disclosed its $250 million recuperation bundle for the Australian arts and entertainment sector, which has been intensely affected due to coronavirus-related lockdowns around the nation.
The bundle is separated into four streams, and will incorporate $75 million as a major aspect of an awards program accessible from one month from now for new shows, visits, celebrations and different occasions as limitations are facilitated. There will be $90 million accessible in concessional advances to subsidize new creations, conveyed through business keeps money with a 100% Commonwealth ensure.
$50 million will be accessible to help nearby film and TV creation, to be managed by Screen Australia. At long last, it will likewise incorporate $35 million made accessible to straightforwardly help Commonwealth-supported associations battling to remain above water to get them fully operational – including theater, move, music and carnival.
“These measures will support a broad range of jobs from performers, artists and roadies, to front of house staff and many who work behind the scenes, while assisting related parts of the broader economy, such as tourism and hospitality,” commented Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“This package is as much about supporting the tradies who build stage sets or computer specialists who create the latest special effects, as it is about supporting actors and performers in major productions.”
“Many in the sector will find a new way to operate while the current social distancing measures remain in place and while that won’t be easy, I know there’s a strong desire among all Australians to see the return of gigs, performances and events.”
A Creative Economy Taskforce will be set up to help oversee the financing, in association with the Australia Council.
The declaration comes after talks Morrison has had with reps from the diversion part, including the recently brought forth Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) supergroup official board of trustees.
While numerous in expressions of the human experience division have invited the recuperation bundle, different bodies have hammered the administration for its significant stretch of inaction and inability to target singular expressions laborers needing quick help.
Dean Ormston, CEO of peak body APRA AMCOS said the package “comes at an urgent time not just for the music sector, but the broader creative economy. Importantly the announcement reflects the recognition by the Morrison Government of the enormous contribution the arts, entertainment and creative industries contribute to the economy and our way of life.”
Live Performance Australia’s Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson said, “Our industry was the first to be profoundly affected by the public health restrictions to combat COVID-19, and faces a longer road to recovery as restrictions are progressively lifted around the country.”
“This is a vital injection of capital funding which will help live performance companies reopen and start to rebuild after the impact of the overnight loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue over the past three months,” she added.
However, Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) Chief Executive Paul Murphy said the government had been far too slow in responding to the crisis facing the arts and entertainment sector.
“While any form of assistance is welcome, this package is another slap in the face for the thousands of arts and entertainment workers who are not eligible for the JobKeeper income subsidy scheme,” he said in a statement released today.
Mr Murphy said that while the grants and loans available through the package will help organisations affected by the pandemic, there is no direct relief for freelance and casual workers who have lost employment.
“These workers are the backbone of the industry. It is essential to provide capital injections and financing and investment incentives to the bodies that provide employment in the industry, but there is no point in doing that if you don’t have a workforce. The stark reality is that we are in danger of losing a generation of creative professionals in this country without an adequate income support scheme.”
Mr Murphy said the biggest help the government could provide for workers in the industry is to change the eligibility rules for JobKeeper so arts and entertainment workers are eligible for the subsidy.
Shadow Minister for the Arts Tony Burke welcomed the news while also acknowledging the length of time taken to deliver a targeted support package for the industry, pointing out that action may never have taken place without campaigns mounted by the sector.
“For months, Scott Morrison and his ministers stubbornly insisted it wasn’t necessary – that somehow an industry that had been completely shut down by coronavirus restrictions didn’t need any extra assistance. This totally unnecessary delay has done enormous damage to this industry and its workers.”
“We remain concerned that there is still no direct support for the workers themselves, many of whom miss out on JobKeeper but won’t be able to return to work anytime soon. We will also be consulting with businesses in the industry about the implications of the fact that the largest part of this announcement will saddle companies with increased debt.”
In particular, Burke commented that Labor will be consulting with entertainment venues about how the package will interact with them, saying, “If venues don’t make it to the other side of this crisis, there will be no recovery.”