Australian Government announces $250m arts sector relief package

Helping the sector survive for the next 12 months

The Federal Government has today announced a $250 million financial relief package in the form of loans and competitive grants for Australia's arts sector in the wake of COVID-19.

The taxpayer-funded package aims to assist over 600,000 Australians who work in the $112 billion creative economy, with the Morrison government expected to reveal more details on the scheme today. 

 

The $250 million package will be primarily split between four different areas of the creative sector, with entities being able to access the funds through a series of loans and grants. 

 

$75 million will be available in the form of competitive grants to provide assistance to new festivals, tours, concerts, tours and events when social distancing restrictions are rolled back. These grants can range from $75,000 through to $2 million. Meanwhile, a further $90 million will be available in the form of concessional loans to help fund new productions, delivered through commercial banks with a Commonwealth guarantee.

 

A further $50 million will be available to help film and TV producers to restart productions, while the remaining $35 million will be directed towards Commonwealth-funded arts organisations who are struggling to keep afloat.

 

"These measures will support a broad range of jobs from performers, artists and roadies, to front of house staff and many who work behind the scenes, while assisting related parts of the broader economy, such as tourism and hospitality," PM Scott Morrison said in a statement delivered this morning.

 

"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."

 

While we're hopeful that these grants will be delivered with the best intentions, we're skeptical that $250 million will be enough to achieve what the Morrison Government is hoping it will in the next 12 months. Given the amount of people in the industry who have lost work - and are unable to obtain JobKeeper - it looks like we're going to need a lot more than what's promised here. 

 

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