Our artists are struggling, and need support now

It has been months since the Prime Minister stood up with Guy Sebastian and announced funding for the struggling arts industry and we still haven't seen any money flowing. 

During a recent Senate Covid Committee hearing, I asked the Head of the Prime Minister's own Department, when will the money be available? The response was - 'No money's going to flow until after restrictions have lifted.' That is simply not good enough.

That money is needed now, not after restrictions have lifted, to ensure that businesses can stay afloat, that workers can be paid and that artists can keep paying their bills while continuing to create.

When the restrictions were introduced in March, entire shows, productions and events were shut down overnight. People lost their jobs, income and access to insurance. Casual workers in the arts and entertainment sector have missed out on the JobKeeper supplement due to the nature of gig-to-gig work. These are people who are struggling and need support now, not later.

Once again this shows us that this government can't be trusted. They just don't care about Australian artists, the music industry, the festival industry, our authors and our First Nations artists.