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Art sector injected with $250m to kickstart recovery

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
25 June 2020 2 minute readShare
Art sector

The Prime Minister has announced a $250 million JobMaker plan targeted at creating jobs in the arts sector, in a bid to help it rebuild from the crippling impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the plan, the government will roll out a range of new grant and loan programs over the next 12 months to different parts of the arts sector to support the over 600,000 Aussie it employs.

“Our JobMaker plan is getting their show back on the road, to get their workers back in jobs,” the Prime Minister said.

“We’re delivering the capital these businesses need so they can start working again and support the hundreds of thousands of Australians who make their living in the creative economy.”

According to the PM, the measures are expected to support a broad range of jobs, from performers, artists and roadies to front-of-house staff and many who work behind the scenes.

“This package is as much about supporting the tradies who build stage sets or computer specialists who create the latest special effects, as it is about supporting actors and performers in major productions,” the PM said.

“Many in the sector will find a new way to operate while the current social distancing measures remain in place, and while that won’t be easy, I know there’s a strong desire among all Australians to see the return of gigs, performances and events.”

The PM also confirmed he will push the national cabinet to give the entertainment industry a clear timetable for easing restrictions so they can better plan their path forward.   

The support package includes:

  • Seed investment to reactivate productions and tours – $75 million in competitive grant funding in 2020–21 through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund. This program will provide capital to help production and event businesses to put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social distancing restrictions ease, including through innovative operating and digital delivery models. Grants of varying sizes will be available, from $75,000 through to $2 million. 
  • Show starter loans – $90 million in concessional loans to assist creative economy businesses to fund new productions and events that stimulate job creation and economic activity. The loans program will complement the RISE Fund and will be delivered through commercial banks, backed by a 100 per cent Commonwealth guarantee.
  • Kickstarting local screen production – $50 million for a Temporary Interruption Fund, to be administered by Screen Australia, that will support local film and television producers to secure finance and start filming again, supporting thousands of jobs in the sector. Filming of new productions has largely been halted as insurers are not providing coverage for COVID-19.  
  • Supporting sustainability of sector-significant organisations – $35 million to provide direct financial assistance to support significant Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to their viability due to COVID-19, which may include organisations in fields including theatre, dance, circus, music and other fields.
  • Creative economy taskforce – establishment of a ministerial taskforce to partner with the government and the Australia Council for the Arts to implement the JobMaker plan for the creative economy.

In the coming weeks, the guidelines for the grant and loan programs will be released and the members of the Creative Economy Taskforce will be announced.

Earlier this week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that 78 per cent of businesses in arts and recreation services have reported a drastic decline in revenue.

On Thursday, the PM suggested that the government is injecting $100 million per month into arts through JobKeeper and cash-flow support.

Art sector injected with $250m to kickstart recovery
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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