'Get The Show Back On The Road': PM Announces $250 Million Plan For Creative Sector

25 June 2020 | 10:49 am | Neil Griffiths

"This sector has had their businesses taken away from them overnight."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has officially announced the $250 million JobMaker plan to "help restart the creative economy and get the entertainment, arts and screen sectors back to work"

Speaking at the newly-launched Sydney Coliseum Theatre in Rooty Hill, which was attended by singer Guy Sebastian, ARIA CEO Dan Rosen and Minister for Arts Paul Fletcher, Morrison unveiled the plan. 

"This sector has had their businesses taken away from them overnight," Morrison said. 

"But what we are announcing today... now it's about the way back. Now it's about ensuring that we can get the show back on the road and the workers back into jobs."

The JobMaker plan will offer "a range of new grant and loan programs will roll out over the next 12 months to different parts of the arts sector to support the $112 billion creative economy and the more than 600,000 Australians it employs".

The support package includes:

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  • 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 a Temporary Interruption Fund, to be administered by Screen Australia, that will support local film and television producers to secure finance and start filming again, supporting 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.

Guy Sebastian also spoke at the conference, praising the JobMaker plan. 

"It's great that you guys are filling that gap with this aide... and not have this industry fall off a cliff," Sebastian said. 

"Thank you so much and thanks for hearing us."

Rosen added, "I think the number one thing here is that the Government has taken the time to understand the sector and recognise there are 645,000 people who work across creative industries. It generates $112 billion dollars to the national economy. It's big business made of lots of small businesses.

"Behind Guy Sebastian, is a great entrepreneur and small businessman. He hires hundreds of people to keep his show on the road and that's what we want to do. Get the shows back on the road in the pubs and clubs, venues and theatres all around Australia."