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News February 2, 2022

Music industry welcomes NSW government’s $85m pledge, warns ‘we still need to get through winter’

Senior Journalist, B2B
Music industry welcomes NSW government’s $85m pledge, warns ‘we still need to get through winter’

The New South Wales government’s $85 million emergency package is welcome relief, Australia’s main music industry bodies say. Though the crisis is far from over, and winter is coming.

On Tuesday (Feb. 1), the state government announced a lifeline for performing arts and live music, a sector desperate to reboot after a three-year-long pandemic.

The sum, which includes $80 million for performing arts companies and $5 million provided to Support Act, will enable companies to keep shows on stage, staff employed and provide business confidence to continue investing, notes LPA in a statement.

“We congratulate the New South Wales government on taking the lead, after consultation with industry, on measures to support the arts and entertainment industry through a very tough transition phase,” comments LPA CEO Evelyn Richardson.

“We call on other state and territory governments to step up and provide similar support to rebuild industry and consumer confidence which has been shattered.”

support act Cerisa Grant

The heath crisis, she notes, is “not over” and “we still need to get through winter which may bring new challenges.”

The Omicron variant has effectively torn up the live industry’s immediate recovery plans. “Now more than ever,” adds Richardson, “government support is needed to ensure the live entertainment industry can continue to play its part in the nation’s economic, social and cultural recovery.”

The sum pumped into Support Act will assist those not eligible under other Government funds and ensure artists across the state are not further disadvantaged by the health crisis, notes ARIA and PPCA CEO Annabelle Herd.

“This package will make a huge difference to artists across the state,” she continues. “Moreover, it is an important step in recognising the economic and cultural value of a sector that has been long suffering as a result of the pandemic. It is my hope this will provide a major confidence boost to artists, performers, promoters and industry professionals, allowing us to begin the long road to rebuilding NSW’s live music scene.”

The announcement was timed to perfection. On the same day, premier Perrottet made his cash pledge, Support Act announced an expansion to meet rising demand for its services.

Two new lines are now online to offer support to those experiencing discrimination in the music industry, from sexual harassment, rape and other forms of assault disproportionately affect female, LGBTQI+ and gender diverse members of the community.

“Last year we saw the voices of our industry speak out loud and clear against the discrimination, sexual harassment and assault that have plagued the music community for far too long,” comments Clive Miller, CEO of Support Act.

“As a result, we saw a need to boost our Wellbeing Helpline to ensure support is provided to anyone who needs someone to talk to or a referral to receive specialist support.”

The Sexual Health and Safety Support Line and LGBTQI+ Support Line are live at to Support Act’s Wellbeing Helpline, a free, confidential, 24/7 phone counselling service available to anyone who works in music or the arts who is concerned about their mental health or wellbeing.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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