Guy Sebastian asks Australian government for update on arts relief: “My heart breaks for this industry”

The singer stood beside Prime Minister Scott Morrison when the $250million package was announced in June

Guy Sebastian has requested the Australian Federal Government provide more information on why only a fifth of the $250million arts relief package, announced back in June, has been spent to date.

Sebastian had stood beside Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the press conference where the details of the $250million sector package were announced.

After it was found during a Senate estimates hearing yesterday (October 21) that just $49.5million had been spent so far, Sebastian tweeted to Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young that he had contacted the Prime Minister’s office for more information and will pass it on if or when he receives “the most recent information”.

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“I have no ties to anyone in politics on a personal or professional level,” he wrote. “My only objective in getting involved was to be a mouthpiece for my peers, to provide perspective, and to help get funds into the hands of those who need it.”

“My heart breaks for this industry and what everyone has had to endure. I will continue to do what I can to help get people back on their feet.”

In June, Sebastian was criticised for actively supporting the Morrison relief package which, according to the arts union and political opponents, fell short of what the sector needed to survive.

“My attendance today at the press conference was to provide perspective of the deep-seated economic hardship that has crippled the entertainment industry due to the COVID pandemic,” the pop singer said at the time.

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When applications for the $75million RISE grants fund were opened in August, it was advised grants will take up to three months to be awarded after an application was lodged. The $49.5million that has already been spent has been allocated to the temporary interruption fund for film productions.

Earlier this month, Sebastian announced a national tour in 2021 to celebrate the release of his latest album ‘T.R.U.T.H.’.

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