House debates

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Statements by Members

Independent Cinemas

1:57 pm

Photo of Matt ThistlethwaiteMatt Thistlethwaite (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for the Republic) Share this | Hansard source

Independent cinemas are a vital part of our nation. They employ locals and tell Australian stories. In Randwick, the Ritz Cinema has been an artistic and cultural hub of our community since 1937, and I've been going to the movies there since I was a young kid. But the impact of COVID on the Ritz and other local cinemas is larger than we've seen in anyone's lifetime. Yet the Morrison government has forgotten the plight of Australia's independent cinema sector. The Ritz and many other cinemas are struggling and are wondering how they're going to make ends meet after JobKeeper ends next March. Independent Cinemas Australia is warning that much-loved local businesses could go under when JobKeeper is cut.

The Prime Minister and this government can't keep ignoring the independent cinema sector, the importance it has for local communities and its pleas for help when it needs it the most. It's time the Morrison government acted to support our independent cinemas. The recent success of films like The Dry and Penguin Bloom shows the enduring popularity of Australian stories in cinemas, and going to the movies is as well liked as ever. I would like to thank Eddie and Lindy and all the workers at the Ritz, who showed me and Tony Burke around recently, and other local cinemas for the work they do in our community. Get down to the Ritz or your local cinema and support this vitally important industry.


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