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Australian Government commits $27 million relief package for the arts
With the sector massively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Australian Government has announced a $27 million funding package to support regional arts, First Nations arts and music charity Support Act.
The $10 million funding for Support Act will enable it to provide crisis relief to artists, crew and music workers who have lost their jobs and income as a result of measures to halt the spread of Coronavirus, and to upscale and extend access to the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline to all members of the arts industry.
Welcoming the funding, which is in addition to the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes, Support Act Chief Executive, Clive Miller stated “we applaud the Government for the assistance packages they have already provided - the JobSeeker and JobKeeper benefits will go a long way to providing a safety net for the majority of people in the music industry affected by the COVID-19 crisis and we encourage all eligible artists, crew and music workers to register for these benefits asap.
“This additional funding from the Government will enable us to ensure that Support Act can provide short term financial support to those artists, crew and music workers who fall through the cracks for any reason and are unable to access government benefits; and those who are injured, unwell or have a mental health issue that is preventing them from being able to work.”
Additional funding of $7 million has been allocated under the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support programme, as many First Nations communities have seen art centres close their doors.
The Australia Council for the Arts welcomed the funding to what Chief Executive Adrian Collette called “some of the most vulnerable areas of arts”.
Collette added “ours is a highly complex and diverse sector that provides enormous value - economic, social and cultural - to all Australians. We acknowledge and welcome this commitment, in addition to the potential assistance of whole of government programs such as the JobKeeper and JobSeeker legislation. These new measures mark the first step towards addressing some of the critical issues currently being faced by the creative sector. However, there remain significant gaps that need to be urgently addressed.”
Live Performance Australia (LPA) also welcomed the measures, but said the industry requires “much, much more in the form of direct assistance” in order to survive after the shutdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Image shows the Events Centre Caloundra.
23rd March 2020 - LPA seeks targeted financial stimulus for live performance industry
17th March 2020 - Australian Arts and Cultural Organisations respond to Coronavirus
17th March 2020 - LPA calls for $850 million live performance support and stimulus package
11th March 2020 - Live Performance Australia release Coronavirus statement
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