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News June 26, 2020

Small music venues will be re-opening Australia-wide thanks to Morrison’s most generous social distancing rules yet

Small music venues will be re-opening Australia-wide thanks to Morrison’s most generous social distancing rules yet
Oxford Art Factory

Scott Morrison may have royally swindled the music industry with its first round of arts funding, but his $250M commitment this week and today’s announcement for live venues may see him slightly redeemed.

Speaking in Canberra today after a National Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister announced a further easing of coronavirus measures, marking Australia’s most generous social distancing rules yet.

The new announcement revealed venues can allow one person per two square-metres, a 50% decrease in social distancing on the previous four square-metre rule. The advice from a panel of medical experts, the AHPPC (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee), means smaller live music venues can now open their doors.

“Previously there had been a more formal rule around four square-metres and I think it just shows the flexibility that is now being able to be built into the response based on the experience that everybody is having and is being shared,” said Morrison.

The new restriction had already been taken up in Western Australia and Tasmania.

The AHPPC is working on a road map for the reopening of entertainment venues to kick off major events, like live music festivals.

“At the announcement we made yesterday, one of the key issues that still we knew needed to be addressed was that they need greater certainty about when they can start planning events for,” said Morrison.

“Whether that‘s 12 months away or six months away, so the plan will be addressing what may be possible for venues three months from now, six months from now, nine months, 12 months and so on, and that will assist those producers and other event planners with getting moving and, as a result, being able to access and seek support through the entertainment support package that we announced yesterday.”

The new $250M cash injection to the arts sets aside $75 million of capital funding to help production and event businesses put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social-distancing restrictions ease, with grants of between $75,000 and $2 million made available.
Also, $90 million in concessional loans is to be backed by government guarantee, along with $35 million in direct financial assistance to support Commonwealth-funded arts organisations.

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

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