Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Victorian Government announces support for casual workers stood down from shuttered public sector venues

Victorian Government announces support for casual workers stood down from shuttered public sector venues
May 6, 2020

The Victorian Government has announced that it will support casual public sector employees - such as those working in the sporting and cultural sectors - who have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Explaining that the wage subsidy would be for those who could not apply for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper initiative, Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas advised that the fortnightly payments would “fix that gap” by ensuring roughly 3,000 workers receive fortnightly payments of $1500 before tax.

With payments to be backdated to 27th April and conclude on 30th September, the workers must agree to be redeployed to other high-demand roles in order to receive the payment, which Treasurer Pallas said would allow staff to get the support they need, while also ensuring the delivery of key public.

Unlike JobKeeper, those receiving the benefit are eligible for the payment regardless of their length of service, their age, or their citizenship.

Council workers, however, are not be eligible for the payments.

Welcoming the initiative, The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) said the Victorian Government had stepped in to support workers at venues like Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Rod Laver Arena, and the Melbourne Recital Centre who had been left out by the Federal Government's JobKeeper scheme.

Adam Portelli, MEAA's Victoria & Tasmania Regional Director, explained “this is a huge win for thousands of workers at public sector venues throughout Victoria who were shut out of JobKeeper.

"Today’s announcement will be a great relief for casual workers who faced the prospect of losing their jobs and applying for unemployment benefits to tide them over during winter."

MEAA Chief Executive Paul Murphy said the action by the Victorian Government was a model for other states to follow, noting "to varying degrees, other state governments have offered to assist workers at public sector venues, but nothing to this extent.

"The other states should immediately follow the (Victorian) Government by providing wage subsidies, so workers at venues like the Sydney Opera House, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Adelaide Festival Centre do not fall through the cracks.”

The Victorian Government has also extended its Jobs and Skills Exchange program to all public sector workers. Casual workers who participate in the program would be able to pick up additional work without jeopardising their fortnightly payments.

Yesterday, Treasurer Pallas also announced a further $491 million to provide relief in the form of exemptions from payroll tax and WorkCover premiums on JobKeeper payments.

Describing this as a lifeline for small businesses in Victoria’s hard-hit tourism sector, Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Chief Executive, Felicia Mariani stated “our industry has found the Federal JobKeeper funding challenging at times given the associated on-costs, with payroll tax on these fortnightly payments having left many questioning how they can afford to maintain this benefit.

“(This) announcement by the Treasurer that the $1500 fortnightly JobKeeper payment is now free from all state government taxes and charges means that more money can stay in the pockets of businesses. This is crucial to their survival and allows them to focus on this next phase of business reanimation.”

Images: The Victorian Parliament (top, courtesy of the Victorian Government) and the Arts Centre Melbourne by night (below).

Related Articles

5th May 2020 - Federal Government announces support materials for creation of ‘COVIDSafe’ workplaces

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

4th May 2020 - Theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh says West End and Broadway shows will be ‘last to go back’

4th May 2020 - Brimbank Council’s leisure centre staff maintain parks during Coronavirus crisis

4th May 2020 - Victorian wildlife attractions receive financial lifeline

29th April 2020 - Tourism and Events Industry encourages Australians to download and use COVIDSafe app

25th April 2020 - Ticketmaster to honour refunds to all cancelled or postponed shows and events

24th April 2020 - Collapse of events sector wipes $35 billion from Australia’s economy

23rd April 2020 - VMA opens application for new Diploma of Venue Management

22nd April 2020 - Melbourne Sports Centres makes the most of downtime

9th April 2020 - Eventbrite to lay off 45% of global workforce in cost-cutting plan

7th April 2020 - Adelaide Venue Management repurpose venues to help community catering organisations

7th April 2020 - Fears tourism businesses may not be eligible for JobKeeper payments

31st March 2020 - VMA supports members with suspension of membership dues

31st March 2020 - Australian Government launches $130 billion ‘JobKeeper’ wage subsidy

31st March 2020 - ATIC supports $130 billion JobKeeper package

26th March 2020 - Melbourne and Olympic Parks manager advises on working with event partners on rescheduling events

23rd March 2020 - Survey shows how event organisers can bounce back from the Coronavirus impact

19th March 2020 - VMA invites nominations for 2020 Venue Industry Awards

18th March 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre announce venue closures

17th March 2020 - VMA cancels 2020 Venue Industry Congress

2nd December 2019 - VMA launches first dedicated jobs portal for the venue management industry

28th November 2019 - Rod Laver Arena named as a top 10 highest grossing venue

6th September 2019 - Ticketek extends historic Melbourne and Olympic Parks partnership for another five years

11th July 2019 - Arts Centre Melbourne ready to host 19th Annual Helpmann Awards

8th July 2019 - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre looks to stage live music events

18th December 2018 - New facilities completed at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena

8th September 2018 - Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre marks 21 years of operation

2nd September 2018 - Architects appointed to reimagine Arts Centre Melbourne

8th January 2018 - MEAA looks to protect theatre workers from sexual harassment

13th May 2016 - MEAA says live theatre devastated by Australia Council cuts

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Spill Station Australia

Compliant chemical storage and decanting solutions. Includes spill kits, spill containment pallets, chemical decanting decks and safety shower and eyewash equipment. See our full range of solutions

read more

Aquatics / Safety / Security / Venues


Enta Australasia

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing.  19th July 2018 - ENTA…

read more

Technology / Ticketing / Venues


BioLab Australia Pty Ltd

BioGuard is Australia and New Zealand’s most trusted supplier of premium, innovative and affordable commercial water treatment systems and chemicals. BioGuard offers a comprehensive range of…

read more

Aquatics / Technology / Waterparks


Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


Augmented Creative

Augmented Creative is an open organization of like-minded and highly dedicated, creative people who conceive, plan and execute visual solutions. We pursue new and innovative visual ideas to help…

read more

Arts / Attractions / Consultants / Design / Tourism



The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business