Hospitality and the arts were the worst hit sectors, from the coronavirus, and it is being reported that most venues and production companies may not return to their pre-COVID-19 highs for five to six years if ever.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that about one in five arts sector positions were wiped out over the course of the pandemic.
Under the new package, said to be unveiled on Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison hopes to encourage barrier-less domestic travel where states and territories relax border restrictions in order to keep struggling venues afloat. The rescue package aims to help remobilise suspended productions and encourage the development of new events, all while adhering to slowly relaxing social distancing measures.
The Australian Financial Review has reported that the rescue package is said to comprise of four key components. $75 million dollars worth of grants of between $75,000 to $2 million to “help production and event businesses to put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social distancing restrictions ease”. In addition to this, the package will offer $90 million in low-interest loans to encourage shows to fund new productions. $35 million will be utilised to aid Commonwealth funded arts and cultural organisations on the brink of collapse.
A new taskforce is said to be established to liase with the government and the Australian Council of the Arts, to implement this new plan for an industry begging for a lifeline.
Exact eligibility criteria for the grants have yet to be finalised but are expected to be announced within the coming days.