Leader of Reason, Fiona Patten, has called for an immediate reintroduction of the Live Music Venues Program which provided $15m in cash to our much-loved venues.
Ms Patten said the business support for our live music venues is inadequate, strangled in red tape and will not be enough to save the world-renowned music scene.
Many venues are fighting huge debts as they struggle to break even in between lockdowns with capacity limits severely impacting their trade.
The State Government has two grants theoretically available to these venues – the Hospitality Venue Fund and the Events Support Package.
The first fund – they’re ineligible if they don’t have a food license.
The second, the events support package, is unworkable because they can only claim one gig, and any previous grant money is deducted before they receive the funds. The program is plagued with hurdles and is insufficient regardless.
“Until we can safely have live music back, the government must support the industry. I’m not sure who thinks money for one cancelled gig is anywhere near enough,” said Ms Patten.
“We need a simple process that recognizes the gig culture of Melbourne, live music venues don’t host one event in a month, they do four or five a-week.”
Fiona Patten supports Alex Lahey’s open letter to Prime Minister Morrison calling for an insurance scheme and wage subsidies program for the arts and entertainment industry.
“The Arts need state and federal government support until we can gather safely again – it’s as simple as that.”
“If that means support them until November, support them until November,” said Ms Patten
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