Industry bodies welcome ‘much-needed’ COVID-19 relief fund for NSW
APRA AMCOS, ARIA and PPCA have expressed gratitude to the NSW Government for providing some relief to the live music sector in wake of Sydney’s extended lockdown.
The $75 million package comes as Australia’s largest city faces a five-week lockdown, which at this stage extends out until at least the end of July.
The organisations also used the opportunity to urge governments of all levels to work with the industry on a business interruption support package, and to harmonise policies around live music, theatre and sporting events to ensure the effective reopening and rebuilding of the industry.
ARIA and PPCA CEO, Annabelle Herd, said the NSW measures were a great start.
“ARIA and PPCA wholeheartedly welcome any government support in this highly destabilising time and it is encouraging to see the cultural and economic contribution of Australian music recognised. This is a great start, but as the situation continues to unfold we need to ensure adequate support is provided across all sectors of Australian music, and of course we need to find sustainable ways to reopen, rebuild and grow,” she said.
Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS chief executive, meanwhile, noted the importance of the fund, given people working in this sector are “first to be fired, last to be hired”.
“Delivering immediate COVID-19 financial assistance for artists and music industry businesses will be a critical lifeline to our industry right now as many artists, venues and events face the complete loss of income for the foreseeable future. We look forward to working with both governments to ensure ongoing support is delivered where it’s needed most,” he said.
The group also thanked the Federal Government for its support, particularly for the commitment that the support will apply nationally to any state or territory which experienced an extended lockdown and is declared by the Commonwealth as a hotspot.