The New South Wales Government will discuss financial support options for music venues following the end of the JobKeeper scheme later this month.
As reported by The Music, Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello will speak with Treasurer Dominic Perrottet about support for venues, after the matter was brought up at Budget Estimates today by the Opposition.
JobKeeper is currently scheduled to end on March 28. During Estimates, shadow music minister John Graham asked the government why no measures were in place to help venues once the subsidy scheme ends.
“We know venues will close in the next week or weeks,” Graham said.
“They have survived COVID, they have survived the lockouts, they won’t survive this.
“As JobKeeper disappears this is the moment when some much-loved venues are deciding their future. Sydney could be changed as a result.”
According to a survey of more than 1,500 workers published by I Lost My Gig Australia last month, over half (53 per cent) of businesses in the creative and live entertainment industries will close when JobKeeper ends.
A number of arts organisations, including Live Performance Australia and APRA AMCOS, have pushed for the Federal Government to extend JobKeeper or provide some other form of tailored support for the live sector.
“Each time there is another COVID-19 cluster or a quarantine breach, any plans to trade again are halted. Musicians, sole traders, venues, clubs, festivals, music businesses and the industry remain out of work. Billions of dollars for hospitality and tourism generated from Australian music remains stifled,” the open letter reads.
“A restart can’t happen while borders remain closed and audience capacity limits are in place.
“Extending JobKeeper, or providing an industry specific wage subsidy package, will keep the show on the road.”