Senate debates

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Bills

Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Bill 2020, Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus (Measures No. 2) Bill 2020, Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 2019-2020, Appropriation Bill (No. 6) 2019-2020; Second Reading

8:20 pm

Photo of Peter Whish-WilsonPeter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

access to the COVID-19 stimulus package:

At the end of the motion, add ", but the Senate:

(a) is of the opinion that the arts, entertainment, creative and events industries, and hospitality and tourism industries have been severely hit by this crisis and are not getting adequate support from this package;

(b) calls on the Treasurer to ensure the following categories of businesses and workers are able to access the JobKeeper Program:

  (i) casual workers who have not been with the same employer for 12 months,

  (ii) freelance performers, content creators, and crew who are engaged as direct employees on short-term contracts on a project by project basis but are not registered as a business,

  (iii) businesses that do not have a consistent stream of linear revenue across the year, such as those working on screen and stage productions, festivals and events, and therefore the revenue test is not applicable and should instead be for a comparable period not month, and

  (iv) entities that are established as dedicated Special Purpose Vehicles which is common in the arts, entertainment and events sectors for individual projects, and are unlikely to meet the various tests and requirements therefore excluding many workers; and

(c) is of the opinion that the arts, entertainment and creative industries need a tailored package to provide adequate support immediately and to assist recovery after the crisis, which should include:

  (i) restoring and increasing Australia Council funding to expand access for individuals and organisations to access grants,

  (ii) establish a Content Creator Fund for the production of local content to support high quality local content, our creative industries and, importantly, allow Australians to keep telling their own stories, and

  (iii) local content requirements for broadcast, radio, subscription and streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon, Stan, Apple and Spotify".

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