Critical moment for cultural ministers to step up

A meeting of Commonwealth, state and territory cultural ministers today comes at a critical time for them to step up for Australia’s live performance and cultural sector.

Critical moment for cultural ministers to step up

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“Our industry is in melt down as a result of coronavirus-related event cancellations and venue shutdowns. We need all levels of government to urgently put in place emergency support measures to save the jobs and businesses that depend on the live performance sector,” said LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson.

“Today’s meeting of cultural ministers from around the country must commit to an immediate and strong course of action to save our industry.

“Otherwise, our cultural ministers may well find themselves without a portfolio in future as the cultural sector is decimated by closures brought on by the cancellation of events and closure of venues,” Ms Richardson said.

“The Prime Minister yesterday spoke of the importance of keeping Australia running as we respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Our industry is not running. It has arrested and is carrying the overwhelming burden of the economic and social impact of the public health response so far.

“Just as the airlines have had all their flights grounded, we’ve had every venue in the country shut down and all events cancelled,” Ms Richardson said.

LPA has put together an emergency industry support package for live performance to support individuals and businesses during this period.

“We’ve put this plan before governments. Our industry will be looking to Cultural Ministers today to set out a plan of urgent action to help it survive this unprecedented crisis,” Ms Richardson said.

LPA’s emergency industry support package

• Provide greater national clarity around the projected timeframe for the public health response to coronavirus, including when venues and companies can anticipate preparing to resume operations

• Expedite immediate access to income support for industry participants who have lost employment orincom e due to venue or event closures, including casual workers and sole traders

• Provide a cash injection to the performing arts sector to enable them to meet cash and reserve shortfalls that will confront them in the next six months

• Provide additional funding to the Australia Council to fund all organisations that were assessed as worthy of funding in the four-year funding review

• Repurpose and bring forward the allocated $22 million Live Music package to be spent over the next 12 months

• Direct budget support for the duration of this financial year for all live performance businesses impacted by event and venue closures to enable continuity of their operations and employment levels throughout the shutdown period and to ensure viability for recovery in future

Provide $20 million funding to Support Act immediately to provide crisis and hardship support to the sector
• New funding to enable performances to be delivered through innovative online or digital platforms
• New funding to support the recovery phase, including a significant marketing campaign to restore public confidence and encourage Australians to attend live events, a stimulus to assist Australians to spend on live events, and tax incentives for production and live music venues

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