Speeches

Arts Post-Covid

August 30, 2021

The Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains are full of creatives—from Katoomba to Kurrajong Heights, from Richmond to Glenbrook, and everywhere in between. You've got musicians, performers, people putting on events and festivals. You've got the organisers and the producers, plus those who are on stage. The hit that this sector has taken means it's even harder for them to plan for when restrictions begin to lift. Under best-case scenarios no-one expects things will suddenly open and stay open. They need a guarantee so they can plan with confidence but have a safety net, should COVID affect their live event. Their upfront costs are huge—venues, sets, staging, marketing—and that's before you get to the people on the stage or those shining a light on them.

This government needs to start looking ahead, not just with empty words but with tangible supports to make it a smooth transition. For the arts and entertainment sector, that means a live-performance insurance fund backed by the federal government. There's one for the screen industry, and it's contributed to by the industry. It reduces risk and it enhances risk-taking. That's what it takes to get live performances and events happening—imagination, determination and a leap of faith. Audiences are desperate to have events to look forward to. The industry is desperate to get back on stage. It just needs government support to make it happen.