Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (18:20): I think that was a great segue, Mrs McArthur, to my adjournment matter, which probably digs a little bit deeper—
Mrs McArthur: Always here to help.
Ms PATTEN: I appreciate that, Mrs McArthur. It is to the Minister for Creative Industries, and the action I am seeking is support packages for the artists who have fallen through the cracks. As we know, Victoria prides itself on being the arts capital of Australia, and pre COVID Victoria’s creative industries contributed more than $30 billion to the state’s economy each year. But even today—certainly in Northern Metropolitan, which I think likes to consider itself the capital of creative industries in Melbourne—we are seeing our performers, our writers, our musicians, our painters, our singers and our dancers just really questioning where society values them and where they put them, because they really feel like they have fallen through the cracks. They have never earned a lot of money. Most of them have obviously earned under $75 000 a year, so they do not qualify for any of the packages, both state and federal, currently. Some of them may even have more than $10 000 in the bank—very few of them—which puts them out of any opportunity for any support anywhere. And as we know, our artists live gig to gig, exhibition to exhibition, festival to festival. That might mean they have got some savings in there, but it does not mean that they are less deserving of our support.
I know Minister Pearson said just last year that creative industries are at the heart of Victoria’s economy, the vibrancy of our communities and our way of life and will be essential in our post-pandemic recovery. So right now I think we need to put those words into action, and the action I seek is for the minister to put together a targeted support package for people working in creative industries who have lost work over COVID.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Adjournment matter 23/6/21