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Arts and entertainment industry funds won’t flow till restrictions lifted

The Secretary to the Prime Minister has today told the Senate’s Covid Committee that money previously promised to help the arts & entertainment industry won’t flow until after restrictions are lifted.
Greens Spokesperson for the Arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young pressed the Secretary on when money will actually flow to the arts and entertainment industry given $250m in funding was announced almost seven weeks ago, after a three month wait for an industry-specific package.
“This is devastating news for the thousands of arts and entertainment workers who have lost their jobs,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“Artists and creatives should be financially supported right now to be writing, rehearsing, planning, painting – whatever they can do until restrictions are lifted. If this work isn’t able to be done right now because they’re forced to apply for JobSeeker and hunt for jobs outside their industry we stand to lose an entire generation of artists and creatives.
“The arts and entertainment industry has been the second hardest hit by Covid19 and was effectively shut down overnight when restrictions came in. It took three months for the PM to announce an industry package and now five months later it’s clear he hasn’t understood its needs at all.
“Arts and entertainment industry workers need funding right now, in fact, they needed it months ago. Telling them to go on the dole is a cop out.”
Senator Hanson-Young said the release of grant guidelines for two of the funding streams in the $250m package were finally released by Minister Fletcher today, but are giving false hope to the industry if money won’t flow until restrictions are lifted.
“The Morrison Government has more spin than a record store. Live performance venues that have overheads to pay can’t go on JobSeeker, they need help to stay afloat until they can open their doors. At this rate, there will be no stages to bring live music back to.
“The RISE Fund and Sustainability Fund doesn’t even open for applications until the end of August.
“There are still no guidelines for the Temporary Interruption Fund which is supposed to support local film and television producers to start filming again, putting thousands of people back into work.
“The Morrison Government has its priorities all wrong. Covid Commission Chair Nev Power confirmed to me today no one on the panel, which is charged with charting Australia’s economic recovery, has expertise in arts and entertainment.
“The PM’s priorities are the big fossil fuel companies and construction, meanwhile he’s letting a $112billion a year industry down.”
 

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