Federal Government announces $250m Creative Economy Support Package
WAM welcomes the federal government’s announcement of a $250m Creative Economy Support Package for Australian music and the arts. With music being one of the first industries hit by COVID-19 restrictions and having essentially closed down since March, we anticipate the support package will underpin the recovery of music and our markets, and re-establish music as a critical part of the lives of all Australians.
WAM CEO Mike Harris said of the announcement, “It is good news to see the federal government supporting music, and WAM looks forward to working with the government and its agencies to assist in directing these funds to those areas it is most needed”.
The COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package aims to address the urgent needs within the sector whilst complementing existing whole-of-economy support and assistance measures already in place. The support package builds on the $27 million targeted support package announced by the Government on 9 April, which provided financial support to Support Act, funding to be distributed through Regional Arts Australia, and additional funds for the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support Program.
The COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package includes:
- Seed Investment to Reactivate Productions and Tours – $75 million in competitive grant funding in 2020-21 through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund. This program will provide capital to help production and event businesses to put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social distancing restrictions ease, including through innovative operating and digital delivery models. Grants of varying sizes will be available, from $75,000 through to $2 million.
- Show Starter Loans – $90 million in concessional loans to assist creative economy businesses to fund new productions and events that stimulate job creation and economic activity. The loans program will complement the RISE Fund and will be delivered through commercial banks, backed by a 100 per cent Commonwealth guarantee.
- Kick-starting Local Screen Production – $50 million for Screen Australia for a Temporary Interruption Fund that will support local film and television producers to secure finance and start filming again, which will support thousands of jobs in the sector. Filming of new productions has largely been halted as insurers are not providing coverage for COVID-19.
- Supporting Sustainability of Sector-Significant Organisations – $35 million to provide direct financial assistance to support significant Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to their viability due to COVID-19, which may include organisations in fields including theatre, dance, circus, music and other fields. The Government will partner with the Australia Council to deliver this funding.
- Creative Economy Taskforce – establishment of a ministerial taskforce to partner with the Government and the Australia Council to implement the JobMaker plan for the creative economy.
The announcement also includes plans to release a broader road-map for the re-opening of the arts and entertainment sector, currently being developed alongside Australia Council.
More information on each component of the package is located on the government’s Supporting Australia’s Creative Economy Fact Sheet, or at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website HERE.