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Live Performance Australia calls for targeted JobSaver action to prevent further collapse of the arts and entertainment industry

Live Performance Australia calls for targeted JobSaver action to prevent further collapse of the arts and entertainment industry
February 22, 2021

With snap lockdowns, border closures and audience restrictions having critically impacted the recovery of the arts and entertainment industry, Live Performance Australia (LPA) has today called on the Federal government to provide targeted industry support to prevent further collapse of the industry.

LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson said the live entertainment industry continued to be smashed by repeated snap lockdowns, state and international border closures, audience caps and the lack of a national framework for touring productions.

LPA’s latest industry survey shows 90% of live entertainment companies are still receiving JobKeeper in the January to March 2021 quarter. Of those companies, only 2% project a return to 81-100% pre-COVID business activity this year and almost 50% expect to operate at 0-40% business activity in 2021.

Richardson highlights “like tourism and hospitality, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on live entertainment with an estimated $24 billion of lost economic output and $11 billion lost in industry value. We’ve also seen 79 000 (65%) jobs lost, which is around two thirds of our work force.

“The industry has been working hard to get our people back to work, on stage and touring. Australia has made great progress in fighting the virus and we are now slowly reopening businesses, venues and live events.

“JobKeeper, the Creative Economy package and state-based government support have been critical in keeping companies alive and people in jobs.

“While across the economy, the ATO reports that 90% of the 1.3 million jobs lost have been replaced, our industry is not in those figures. Live entertainment remains largely at a standstill. We’re slowly getting shows back but under heavy restrictions and current business activity is not sustainable. The looming end of JobKeeper will see significant job losses and an unprecedented down-sizing of the industry. The impact of that on our cities and regional communities will be profound."

Richardson adds “we face major challenges in fully reactivating and a return to business normality remains a long way off. For our industry to operate profitably we need our venues operating at full capacity, unrestricted interstate movement, and open international borders without extensive quarantine. Due to essential health considerations, we don’t see these three necessary conditions coming into play in the next six to nine months.

“Since November last year we have had every major musical, theatre production and arts festival shut down or significantly disrupted due to a snap lock down and border closures – this has happened in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. The financial costs and damage to consumer confidence across the country is enormous. We are also very concerned about the growing loss of skills as we stare at the reality of treading water until early 2022.

“If we are to play our part in Australia’s economic and social recovery, we need targeted government support to save jobs and companies beyond March. Our survival depends on it.”

 

Related Articles

9th December 2020 - LPA calls for Business Interruption Fund to protect entertainment sector against future COVID-related shutdowns

8th January 2021 - Live performance paused in Brisbane as Queensland Premier announces city-wide lockdown

18th November 2020 - Live Performance Australia releases updated Ticketing Code of Practice

10th August 2020 - Live Performance Australia releases comprehensive COVIDSafe guidelines

7th August 2020 - Live Performance Australia commends Western Australian Government for shared risk funding

25th June 2020 - Arts and entertainment funding package welcomed by Live performance industry

4th June 2020 - Live Performance Australia’s $345 million plan to restart and rebuild the entertainment industry

5th May 2020 - Live Performance Australia slams NSW Government’s lack of support for cultural sector in crisis during Coronavirus crisis

4th April 2020 - LPA believes funding still not enough to prevent decimation of live performance industry

23rd March 2020 - LPA seeks targeted financial stimulus for live performance industry

18th March 2020 - Perth Festival supports Live Performance Australia’s call for immediate economic stimulus

17th March 2020 - LPA calls for $850 million live performance support and stimulus package

13th March 2020 - Live Performance Australia calls for urgent government action to protect $2.5 billion industry

11th March 2020 - Live Performance Australia release Coronavirus statement


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