Greens and Labor urge introduction of a government-backed insurance scheme to protect the devastated live entertainment sector.
Pressure is mounting on the Morrison government to provide a federal insurance guarantee to the live performance sector, with the Greens preparing to introduce a private member’s bill in the Senate.
As rolling lockdowns due to Covid-19 outbreaks in multiple states continue, the live performance industry remains one of the hardest hit sectors from the pandemic.
Last week, the Australian Music Industry Network and the Australian Festival Association released its latest report, finding that since 1 July this year, more than 28,000 live events have been cancelled, resulting in a loss of more than $84m.
“There has been a clear market failure and the government must step in and underwrite an insurance scheme,” said the Greens’ spokesperson for the arts, Sarah Hanson-Young.
“A federal insurance guarantee will plug this massive hole in the insurance market and help get our shows back on the road well into the future.
“The live performance sector isn’t asking for a handout, it is asking for a product that simply isn’t available right now so that they can plan gigs, festivals and events with confidence they won’t keep taking massive financial hits with ongoing restrictions and lockdowns.”
A similar call for a government-backed insurance scheme was made by Labor’s spokesperson for the arts, Tony Burke, in July.
But even with support from Labor in the senate, the Greens’ bill is unlikely to succeed when parliament returns on 23 August, given it will need support of four out of the five crossbenchers.
Even if this is achieved, the bill would fail to get the numbers in the House of Representatives…
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