News November 20, 2020

Save Our Stages ePetition debated in NSW Parliament

Save Our Stages ePetition debated in NSW Parliament

The state of New South Wales’ was a topic of debate in the state parliament yesterday, as the Save Our Stages ePetition was delivered to the Legislative Assembly.

The petition was organised by NSW and lobbied the state government to provide immediate financial support for the industry in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The petition reached its goal of 20,000 signatures in just 30 hours and has since recorded 28,000 signatures in addition to the 6,600 letters that have been sent to local MPs.

The petition was spoken on by MPs Alex Greenwich, Yasmin Catley and Jenny Leong, among others, in the lower house. It also marked the first time an ePetition was debated in the Legislative Assembly.

The full debate was recorded and uploaded to NSW Parliament’s YouTube channel.

“For an industry that operates on a very lean profit margin, venues have used up their capital reserves and are now accumulating hundred of thousands of dollars in debt,” Greenwich said during the debate.

“Stimulus funding has focused on artists and not-for-profits, but there has been nothing for the spaces that support them. The alfresco renaissance cannot help stages. Venues now rely on JobKeeper to keep staff employed, but this will end in March.

“Those that I spoke to tell me they could permanently close before the end of the financial year.”

At the end of the debate, the House successfully voted to take note of the petition. Today, SOSNSW released a statement thanking the speakers and said it awaits further correspondence from the Berejiklian Government.

“Without urgent financial assistance from the , we will soon see many of our live music venues forced to permanently close and with them, thousands of jobs will be lost,” a spokesperson said.

“This will not only be devastating for the music industry, but also our , regional and metropolitan communities and the wellbeing of NSW residents.

“We now stand by for further urgent discussions with the government and are hopeful for a rescue package to be provided soon to help save our stages before it’s too late.”

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