LOCAL NEWS & VIEWS
Arts and entertainment plunged into crisis
The Morrison Government has only delivered half of the emergency funding it announced for the arts and entertainment industry – and clearly has no plan to give extra help despite the devastating impact of new lockdowns.
21 July 2021
THIRTEEN months ago Scott Morrison and Paul Fletcher enlisted celebrities for a photo opportunity to announce the RISE grants to help get arts and entertainment organisations through the pandemic.
No money flowed for six months, even as the entire industry teetered on the brink of collapse.
Now – more than a year on – Minister Fletcher has confirmed only $100 million of the promised $200 million has actually been spent.
With 13 million Australians back in lockdown because of the government’s failures on quarantine and vaccinations, the live entertainment sector has once again been plunged into crisis.
Festivals, concerts and theatre shows are being cancelled by the dozen. Restrictions on indoor crowds could be in place for many months – meaning there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
And yet through a lethal mix of incompetence and indifference the government has failed to even deliver the money it announced last year.
The government has also ignored calls to establish a national COVID-19 insurance scheme for the arts, entertainment and events industry. That failure means many of the businesses cancelling their events will now be assessing whether or not they can survive to the other end of these lockdowns.
Australia’s arts and entertainment sector workers deserve better than this. They are the makers, keepers and producers of Australian stories, and they have helped us to get through this crisis.
It took more than 100 days for the Morrison government to respond to the desperate calls from the sector for help. It’s been nearly 400 days since he gave his press conference.
How many more days will these businesses and workers have to wait to get the support they were promised?
Grapevine News Online
Central Coast NSW
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