House debates

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Statements by Members

COVID-19: Child Care, COVID-19: Arts

1:52 pm

Photo of Susan TemplemanSusan Templeman (Macquarie, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The early childhood sector has learnt via the media, yet again, that things are going to change. It's not just that JobKeeper will end in July but also that fees will need to be paid by parents. It's more change to come to grips with, and directors have been asked to carry the load as the government claims the glory of free child care but gives the heavy lifting to the sector. I have already had parents tell me they're not going to be able to keep the early education of their children going, because at least one parent is out of work. So the sector is in for more uncertainty, and it's not alone.

Artists, performers and musicians, as well as lighting and camera operators, costume makers and promoters in the electorate of Macquarie are all asking: Why does the Morrison government hate the arts and entertainment sector so much? Why is their sector so spectacularly impacted by COVID yet completely ignored by the government? These are the performers and crew who jump up to help raise funds for bushfire victims, yet, when they need help, the government turns its back. Individual parts of the industry are begging for help. Actors Equity is petitioning parliament, and more than a thousand artists, venues, festivals and music industry professionals have signed an open letter calling for an immediate federal government rescue package for the music sector. We're seeing local support for musicians from restaurants, like Aunty Ed's in Katoomba, with their Sunday live music streams and downloads of my own 'Macquarie Mixtape'. It's time that the Morrison government did its bit. (Time expired)