Gotye, Jessica Mauboy, Tina Arena and other Australian musicians have signed an open letter calling for the federal government to extend relief efforts to the arts industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
As reported by AAP, more than 80 Australian musicians have warned the government that, without intervention, the impact the pandemic has on the arts industry will be long lasting.
“Our artists and industry are always there to come to the aid of our nation during a crisis. Now it is time for the nation to come to our aid,” the letter reads.
“Most of the 4000-plus venues that present live music across Australia are closed with no certainty as to when a restart is likely or viable. Without immediate government intervention, the Australian music sector will be hit twice as hard as the rest of the economy and thousands of jobs will be lost within months. The long-term cost to Treasury, the economy and the damage to our cultural infrastructure will be immense and long-lasting.”
The open letter lists five policies that the musicians implore the government to implement:
- An extension of JobKeeper to September
- An expansion of eligibility for JobKeeper to allow for musicians who work from gig-to-gig, contract-to-contract etc
- A $345million recovery package, with $40million dedicated to a recovery fund
- A $70million boost to the Australian Council for the Arts so grants can be ensured in recovery
- Introduction of a rebatable tax offset for live music, a rebate on the alcohol excise and wine tax, as well as rebates for recording Australian music
The live music industry is reportedly set for a loss of over $500million throughout this period of isolation and restrictions on mass gatherings.
Other artists that signed the letter include Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham and Regurgitator.