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Live Performance Australia calls for NSW Government to replicate Victoria’s backing for live entertainment

Live Performance Australia calls for NSW Government to replicate Victoria’s backing for live entertainment
November 15, 2021

The peak body for Australia’s live performance industry, Live Performance Australia (LPA) has called on the NSW Government to follow the Victorian Government’s move to create an events insurance scheme to give organisers of musical performances, creative festivals, business conferences and sporting and community events the confidence to plan and stage future events.

Responding to calls from the live industry to address a gap in the market and drive business confidence, the 12-month scheme, subsidised by the Victorian Government and delivered by the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA), will insure up to $230 million of events against cancellation due to public health measures, or where events have reduced capacity due to restrictions.

The insurance scheme responds to calls from the sector to address a gap in the market and provide peace of mind.

Explaining that the live entertainment industry had been calling for Federal and state governments to establish a national insurance scheme since last year, LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson yesterday welcomed the Victorian Government’s move.

Richardson advised “while we are again reactivating our theatres in NSW and Victoria, in our live music sector, major events have been pushed into late 2022 and early 2023. We have been shut down for 22 months and continued lockdowns and border restrictions have severely dented consumer and industry confidence.

“There are significant commercial risks involved in confidently restarting or rescheduling new events across the country, given the ongoing possibility of targeted public health restrictions being reimposed.”

Richardson went on to stated “we call on the NSW Government to step up and establish a mirror or similar scheme before the end of the year to provide greater investment confidence.

“We also call on the Commonwealth Government to step up and co-contribute to state-based insurance schemes to enable broadening of the scheme. As an industry that tours nationally, we have always called for a national co-contribution scheme shared between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.

“While we acknowledge and are grateful for all the support that has been provided by governments during the Covid-19 crisis, the lack of any insurance scheme has been a major gap. There is a critical role for government to play in addressing this market failure.

“The live entertainment industry is central to the Australian way of life and, as ever, we are committed to playing our part in the nation’s economic, social and cultural recovery.

“Live entertainment events drive visitation across regions and cities, pumping billions of dollars of spending into the economy. Our industry contributed $36.5 billion to Australia’s economy in 2019 and is a key driver of many other sectors, notably hospitality, travel and cultural tourism.

“Governments stepping up to provide insurance support in an integrated fashion will provide the confidence to enable us to get our people back to work, our shows back on stage, our touring networks re-established, and our audiences back to live events supporting not just our artists and industry, but all of the associated upstream and downstream businesses which depend upon live events as stimulus.”

LPA states that it has a clear mandate to advocate for and support policy decisions that benefit the sustainability and growth of the live performance industry in Australia.

Image courtesy of the Oxford Art Factory.

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