Artspeak: our take on the federal $250million

Filed : Advocacy .

The Australian government has announced $250 million for the Arts industry – but is it too little, too late, too far from us?

We were pleased to see the announcement by the Australian government last week of a $250 million package for the arts as part of the response to Covid-19. We have waited a long time for this, with our sector being one of the worst affected by the pandemic. We believe that parts of our sector will be the last back due to the restrictions that will continue to affect festivals, theatres and music venues. Even if these events can go ahead, finding a model that allows for social distancing yet is still financially viable may prove too elusive for many venues.

I am critical of the package announced, but before explaining why, let me acknowledge that the Federal Government announced  a much smaller package early in the pandemic which did target regional communities, so we have not entirely missed out on support. However, in view of the widespread distress of the sector, this new package appears to be too little too late.  It is a package much better suited to the big-end of the arts and screen – much needed, but I don’t expect that will will see much of it here in the Central West. Nor would I advocate for many in the arts sector to avail themselves of the loans that make up $90 million of the package; you need to be in a position to pay a loan back.

In the meantime though, the Australian government has funded the usual Regional Arts Fund program plus an additional RAF Boost program (see below).  This really is an opportunity for our region, and I encourage you all to consider how this program may assist you. We will support all activity that contributes to our sector’s recovery in the Arts OutWest region.

– Tracey Callinan, executive director Arts OutWest

WATCH: Tracey and other locals comment to Prime7 news on the new $250million from the federal government

The Arts industry has been one of the sectors hardest hit in the COVID pandemic. Today the Federal Government unveiled a massive funding package in a bid to help the industry recover.

The Arts industry has been one of the sectors hardest hit in the COVID pandemic.Today the Federal Government unveiled a massive funding package in a bid to help the industry recover.

Posted by PRIME7 News Central West on Thursday, June 25, 2020

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