Live Performance Australia has issued a statement in response to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Friday afternoon (March 13) announcement that all non-essential public gatherings should be cancelled.
The emergency measure, which applies to gatherings of more than 500 people, will take effect from Monday (March 16). It will not extend to schools, universities, public transport and airports.
LPA is calling for “urgent clarification” on Morrison’s announcement, particularly as to whether it constituted “advice” or a “government directive”. LPA also seeks more information on “the timeframe for this advice and the details of implementation”.
“The government needs to provide a clear directive as other jurisdictions have done, so industry and the public are very clear about what this means. The industry needs to be able to plan and communicate to its audience, artists and staff with confidence in this very difficult time,” wrote Evelyn Richardson, chief executive of Live Performance Australia.
“The flow on effects of this are huge which is why this morning we called on the Federal Government to urgently work on a plan to support industry immediately, both in the short term and as part of the recovery phase.”
ABC reports Morrison has also announced that a new national cabinet would be convened for weekly meetings about the COVID-19 outbreak, and that same cabinet would meet this Sunday.
Earlier today, Live Performance Australia issued a separate statement calling for an “urgent stimulus response” from the federal government to protect the live music industry.
“We’re already seeing cancellation of events and touring programs across the country. We expect this to get worse with industry losing hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs,” Richardson wrote in that statement.
The LPA is one of a number of music and hospitality organisations that have formed a coalition to call on the Australian government for urgent support.
Those organisations are APRA AMCOS, ARIA, Australian Hotels Association, PPCA, Live Performance Australia, Australian Music Industry Network, Australian Festivals Association, AIR, Australian Artist Managers and the Live Music Office.
A statement from the coalition reads: “In the short term, live events and the hospitality sector should be part of any stimulus or grants package. In the longer term, government needs to consider a broad-based approach, such as a tax offset, to ensure the live music and performance sector can revive and recover from events of the last 12 months.”
Read the full statement over at APRA AMCOS’ website here.