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Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into tourism and events support hears plea to save ‘industry in crisis’

Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into tourism and events support hears plea to save ‘industry in crisis’
April 14, 2021

The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Support for the Tourism and Events Sectors has begun with Simon Thewlis, from Save Victorian Events, appearing alongside ShowTech’s Tiny Good and CrewCare’s Howard Freeman as the first witnesses, highlighting that the state’s event industry is in crisis.

Commencing today, Thewlis, Good and Freeman, the Inquiry’s first witnesses, emphasised that Victoria's event industry is in crisis, a situation exaggerated by the recent end of the Federal Government’s JobKeeper allowance.

Advising that many event businesses will struggle to get through the winter, Thewlis cited how Victoria has long been viewed as Australia's ‘events state’ with Melbourne viewed as a global event capital.

He expressed his fear that event businesses and people won’t be around when the sector picks up.

Among the key pillars outlined by Save Victorian Events to rescue the state’s events sector are a new dedicated government agency to support, develop and promote Victoria’s event industry, further financial support for event companies and a Federal Government program to underwrite Covid cancel insurance.

Speaking at the Inquiry, Thewlis stated “while there is much emphasis on the small number of really big events, its actually the hundred plus thousand other events that make the greatest contribution to life in Victoria and contribute most in terms of employment and economic activity

“At government level, we do seem to have been kidnapped by the tourism folk and vested interests. These three sectors - arts, tourism and sport - have received over $2 billion in state government support, while the event industry remains empty handed and struggling.”

Thewlis went on to warn that unless action is taken “we will lose a lot of Victoria’s event capability” and Melbourne’s reputation as “global event city”.

He added “Victoria’s event industry is a vast number of people and businesses who have worked their whole lives and put everything into creating great events

“People who have made an extraordinary contribution to Victoria. They deserve much better than this.”

Save Victorian Events industry plan
The body is calling for the following:

1. For the Victorian Government to recognise the Event Industry as a real industry in its own right. And, as an important industry to Victoria, and to Victoria's future.

2. For the Victorian Government to understand and value the many real contributions that events make to Victoria. And, the extraordinary skills, talents and resources of the event industry - as they should be getting used during this crisis.

3. For the Victorian Government to set up a dedicated government agency - Events Victoria - to support, develop and promote Victoria's event industry. Including, as an export industry. An agency that has people who understand the event industry and are committed to working with us and supporting us. 

4. For the Victorian Government to provide some real financial support for the event companies, event suppliers and the freelancers and contractors so they can survive until later in the year when events start picking up again properly.

5. For the Victoria Government to work with the Federal Government to underwrite Covid cancel insurance so that many events can start happening again.

Click here to view the full strategy. 

Information about the Inquiry can be viewed at

Related Articles

13th April 2021 - Uncertainty over Victorian stadia returning to full capacity

12th April 2021 - Melbourne and Olympic Parks looks to stage increasing number of events

9th April 2021 - Tourism Conference to explore reigniting Victoria’s visitor economy

9th April 2021 - Victorian Government raises Coronavirus capacity limits for concerts, gyms, sporting venues, cinemas and museums

7th April 2021 - AFLW grand final to be staged as standalone event with MCG a possible venue

2nd April 2021 - Save Victorian Events highlight Bluesfest cancellation as confirmation of need for Governments to back event cancellation insurance

31st March 2021 - MYOB survey reveals the benefits of live art events to the hospitality sector

30th March 2021 - Save Victorian Events calls for Industry Taskforce

30th March 2021 - Federal Government accused of ‘abandoning’ events industry as JobKeeper ends

24th March 2021 - Geelong Major Events makes new appointment to ensure safe return of events

23rd March 2021 - Business Events Australia launches industry toolkit to support event recovery

22nd March 2021 - Australian Live Music Business Council calls on government to ease COVID restrictions on venues

20th March 2021 - AMPSEA heads to Canberra to present need for stimulus package for mass participation events

19th March 2021 - Event industry suppliers circle Victorian Parliament in protest at lack of state government support

19th March 2021 - 2021 Australian Tourism Exchange to return as hybrid event in June

12th March 2021 - No relief for events and venues in Federal Government’s post JobKeeper package

8th March 2021 - Australian Regional Events Alliance looks to support events industry

8th March 2021 - Australian Festival Industry Conference to return as a live event

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

17th February 2021 - VTIC fear loss of jobs in Victoria tourism and events without further support

16th December 2020 - Coronavirus halted booming year for Australia’s live music sector

23rd October 2020 - Survey shows over 400 Australian Live Music Businesses face imminent closure

20th September 2020 - Live music venues to benefit industry from $13 million Victorian Government support package

12th August 2020 - Australia’s Chief Medical Officer says ‘high risk’ live music events are still a long way off

11th August 2020 - Federal Government announces guidelines on live music restart funding

28th September 2018 - Global study reveals the importance of live music in escaping digital overload

23rd July 2018 - Review to assess future Live Music Office operations

12th April 2018 - Study shows Melbourne as live music capital of the world

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