Live Performance Australia lobbies govt for urgent ‘interruption fund’
The peak representative body for Australia’s live entertainment industry has called on the Morrison Government to provide a business interruption fund to protect the sector from future pandemic-related shutdowns.
Live Performance Australia’s (LPA) proposal would give businesses indemnification for costs if an event is cancelled or postponed, or if restrictions are eased slower than anticipated.
The organisation puts the loss of economic output at $24 billion.
In a statement, LPA chief Evelyn Richardson said companies could be risking more losses if they begin scheduling events, only to have them cancelled due to restrictions. Additionally, event organisers are not able to insure against pandemic-related impacts now that it’s a known risk.
“The live performance industry was the first to be completely shut down by restrictions, and remains among the most vulnerable to future closure due to new outbreaks,” she said.
“Live businesses have little or no financial reserves to survive another shutdown, and this risk will hold back the industry’s reactivation and its contribution to our economic recovery.”
The proposal has been distributed to federal, state and territory governments. Companies wishing to participate in the business interruption scheme would have to some kind of premium relative to the level of coverage required.
An interruption fund of sorts is currently administered by the Federal Government for the film industry, which helps crews start filming again after production was halted because they weren’t covered for COVID-19 interruptions by insurers.
In the early days of the pandemic, LPA had proposed a $650 million rescue package for the sector, which included cash injections to commercial businesses, a funding boost for the Australia Council, and a $20 million donation to Support Act.