After months of public uproar and requests, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally confirmed a relief package for the arts and entertainment sector.
While details on the relief package are yet to be revealed, it is set to be fully announced in July.
In a press conference this week, Scott Morrison finally acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 on the arts and entertainment sector, confirming that a relief package is on the way.
In the press conference, Morrison noted that it is the arts and entertainment sector that is being left behind, while many other industries return to normality:
“If we go into the creative and entertainment industries, they have seen no change, and that’s not surprising, given the social distancing rules that apply. So we [are examining] and targeting how we’re going to provide that support and we’re working on those responses right now, and we’ll announce them in July.”
The press conference has come just days after government members met with a number of industry leaders including ARIA, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, as well as musicians Mark Vincent and Guy Sebastian. Many are expecting grants and subsidies for businesses and artists who have suffered financially as a result of the global pandemic.
About the issue, Live Performance Australia CEO Evelyn Richardson stated:
“It’s well and truly time for the Federal Government to get behind Australia’s arts and entertainment industry and deliver a comprehensive and properly funded plan so our world-class industry can get back to work.”
In April, the Government announced a $27million stimulus package for the arts; however, this figure was quickly criticised as nowhere near enough to allow the industry to survive. Shadow arts minister Tony Burke stated:
“While every extra dollar of support is welcome, the Government’s $27million funding package does not even come close to what’s needed to save this industry from decimation. This is a $50billion industry that employs hundreds of thousands of Australians – and it has been almost completely shut down by Government fiat.”
The Australia Bureau of Statistics released employment figures which recorded a massive drop in jobs in the arts and recreation sector across May. Here is to hoping that the arts and entertainment sector will receive the support they deserve during this difficult time.