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LPA calls for $850 million live performance support and stimulus package

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

With festivals, performing arts events and live shows around the country being cancelled in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus, Live Performance Australia (LPA) has called for a targeted and immediate support and stimulus package for the sector.

With performing arts companies, the live music sector and other business facing unprecedented challenges in the coming weeks and months, LPA says that it’s critical for Governments to support the live performance sector, and its many supporting parts.

Having taken part in an industry-wide teleconference with the Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts this morning, LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson advised “that was a useful opportunity for representatives from across the industry to tell the Minister how they were being impacted by the shutdown of events and venues due to coronavirus.

“But what we really need from Government right now is a plan of action, backed up by significant funding to support the thousands of people who are losing work across our industry.

“Australia’s $4 billion live performance industry is on the brink of collapse without immediate government support.

“Realistically, we’re looking at a three to six month closure period at least before any recovery phase. In this scenario we will have not just thousands of people out of work but major companies going under along with a decimated small to medium sector. The industry also needs to ensure our service providers can survive so that when we reactivate we have capacity to get moving as quickly as we can.

“Cash flow is our biggest problem and government needs to act quickly to put in place emergency measures to ensure we survive.”

LPA is urging the Commonwealth, state and territory governments to develop an industry specific plan. Immediate priorities are:

• Provide greater national clarity around the projected timeframe for the public health response to coronavirus, including when venues and companies can anticipate preparing to resume operations
• Expedite and immediate access to income support for industry participants who have lost employment or income due to venue or event closures, including casual workers and sole traders
• Extend all current government funding arrangements for the next 12 months to minimise disruption to existing companies
• Provide a cash injection to the performing arts sector to enable them to meet cash and reserve shortfalls that will confront them in the next three months
• Provide additional funding to the Australia Council to fund all organisations that were assessed as worthy of funding in the four-year funding review process
• Repurpose and bring forward the allocated $22 million Live Music package to be spent over the next 12 months
• Direct budget support for the duration of this financial year for all live performance businesses impacted by event and venue closures to enable continuity of their operations and employment levels throughout the shutdown period and to ensure viability for recovery in future
• Provide additional funding to Support Act to provide crisis support to the sector
• New funding to enable performances to be delivered through innovative online or digital platforms.

Richardson added “we are working on other business support measures that government can provide and will be providing that input in the next few days. But we have some immediate short term priorities that need to be activated now.

“This is an unprecedented challenge for the live performance industry which goes right to the heart of its future viability.

“It demands a creative, agile and flexible response from government that is focused on the unique needs of our industry and the people who work in it.”

Image: The Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House.

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16th March 2020 - City of Melbourne announces ‘temporary closure’ of libraries and cultural and recreation centres

15th March 2020 - LPA calls for urgent confirmation on timeframe for government’s ban on public events

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

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6th March 2020 - Vivaticket backs Stage Queensland’s 2020 conferences

3rd March 2020 - PAC appoints Katherine Connor as new Executive Director

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19th December 2019 - PAC Australia announces merger of key national performing arts events

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30th August 2019 - Dubbo Regional Theatre receives Drover Award as PAC Australia Performing Arts Centre of the Year

28th May 2019 - Live Performance Australia welcomes new Federal Arts Minister

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