Australian music industry bodies welcome further Support Act funding
Australia’s music industry has responded to the Federal Government’s announcement of a further $20 million in funding for Support Act.
Announced earlier this week, the financial package will see Support Act expand its services to cater to all live performance employees as national lockdowns continue to wreak havoc on the sector.
Welcoming the arrival of the package, ARIA and PPCA CEO, Annabelle Herd, said that the additional funding “could not come at a more critical time”, rallying for the Australian Government to consider further measures to help protect the industry as it recovers from the pandemic.
“The state of the industry is, frankly, dire. The unfortunate reality for countless industry professionals is a long road to recovery that extends far beyond the point of restrictions being lifted,” Herd said.
“With that in mind, we wholeheartedly welcome continued support from the Australian Government, and highly encourage further investigation into what additional measures can be taken to provide life-saving aid, insure our industry against further setbacks and restore much-needed confidence in the market.”
APRA AMCOS CEO, Dean Ormston, also acknowledged the extra funding, noting that the expansion of the program was proof of how devastating the pandemic has been across all the arts and entertainment sectors.
“Support Act has been at the coalface, providing critical support to artists and industry workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will be vital for them to bring much-needed relief to those who have lost work, gigs and their livelihoods,” Ormston said.
“Continual border closures and social distancing regulations across Australia has made restarting our part of the economy almost impossible. This has meant the livelihoods of thousands of artists and industry workers remains perilous.
“The expansion of the program to ensure those working in the broader performing arts sector illustrates how devastating the pandemic has been on the broader live music and entertainment industry. We applaud the Australian Government for ensuring this support is available to those most in need.”
Since April 2020, Support Act has delivered $10.9 million in grants to 4,506 applicants and provided over 1,700 hours of counselling support through its Wellbeing Hotline.
The charity has allocated $770,000 in grants to impacted music workers in the past week alone, with The Age reporting that an average of 500 calls are received by its hotline every day.