Senate debates

Monday, 9 August 2021


COVID-19: Arts and Entertainment Industry

1:34 pm

Photo of Sarah Hanson-YoungSarah Hanson-Young (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

As half the country was plunged back into lockdown over the weekend I was inundated with messages from artists and musicians from right across the country who are just devastated by another season of events and festivals, concerts and live performances that won't be able to go ahead anymore. The campaign Our Soundtrack Our Stories has been instigated by leading artist Jack River, backed by people like Jimmy Barnes, Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil, Vera Blue, Lime Cordiale and many more, as well as, of course, the industry's peak groups and leading organisations: APRA AMCOS, ARIA and so on and so forth. Thousands and thousands of Australian musicians and artists are crying out for more help, and what they're asking for is for Australian businesses and corporates to back Aussie music—to use it in their products, play the music in their businesses, back Australian artists in their advertising campaigns and do whatever they can to support this industry.

They're also asking for our Australian government to do more. The UK government late last week introduced a new insurance program for live events and music events, and we need something similar here too. I call on the Prime Minister and the arts minister to back Australian events, musicians and artists, and to reinstate a proper fund that can guarantee insurance, because our festivals, our concerts, our live events and the rest of our entertainment industry desperately need help. The insurance industry simply isn't there to help them, and, at a time like this, when there is a market failure, this is the moment for governments to step in and help out. Prime Minister, please help now.