Following months of requests, the Federal Government has today (June 25) unveiled a $250million arts relief package in order to revitalise the struggling arts sector in light of COVID-19.
The package – consisting of grants and loans – includes $75million for a competitive grants program to provide capital for new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social distancing restrictions ease. Grants will range from $75,000 to $2million.
Additionally, $90million will be directed towards concessional loans to fund new productions. The loans will be delivered through commercial banks with a Commonwealth guarantee.
A further $50million will help fund film and television producers who have been unable to access insurance, while the remaining $35million will be made available to Commonwealth-funded organisations in the theatre, dance, music and circus industries.
As reported by ABC, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the package was aimed to assist the entertainment, arts and screen sectors in rebuilding over the next 12 months.
“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,” he 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.”
In a press release, CEO of ARIA Dan Rosen said the package would “go a long way” in helping the arts industries recover.
“This package announced by the Federal Government is very welcomed and will go a long way to helping our industry navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Rosen in a statement.
“This is a crucial package for so many across our industry, and it is an acknowledgement of the importance of music to the community and wellbeing of all Australians.”