Tuesday, 17 March 2020 02:10

Government to teleconference with cutural, creative bodies on effects of COVID-19 Featured

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher

The Federal Government is convening a roundtable by teleconference on Tuesday morning with peak cultural and creative industry bodies to discuss the impacts of the corona virus and the applicability to the cultural and creative sector of support arrangements announced by government to date.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, will convene the roundtable and says the government understands the serious impacts that COVID-19 will have on the nation’s cultural and creative sector.

“Live performance events were attended by more than 26 million Australians in 2018, generating more than $2 billion in ticket revenues, part of the $112 billion arts contribution to the economy each year,” Fletcher said.

“More than 80% of Australians attend arts events each year; 40% of international tourists attend arts events; and more than 600,000 Australians are employed in the sector.

“Given the significance of the cultural and creative sector — both economically and culturally — it is important we work together on a constructive approach to preparing for potential impacts and fully understanding the support available.”

The roundtable follows whole of economy measures announced last week in the government’s $17.6 billion package, including cash flow assistance for small and medium businesses to support them continuing to pay employees, up to a maximum of $25,000, and available to eligible small and medium arts businesses.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the newly-formed National Cabinet also recently announced that states and territories will put in place arrangements under state legislation to prevent non-essential static gatherings of more than 500 people.

This decision was taken on the advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and the arts sector has been seeking a clear directive from governments to maximise the prospects for organisers of arts and cultural events to claim under their insurance cover for cancelled events.

The government has also announced the creation of a new Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit in Treasury to build on existing efforts to support confidence, employment and business continuity. The role of the Unit is to engage with peak business groups on systemic issues relating to Coronavirus to ensure these are being addressed by government.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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