The Australian music industry has received some much-needed support from the Federal Government, with the announcement that Support Act, the country's only charity delivering crisis relief services to artists, crew and music workers, has received $10 million in funding in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The package was confirmed today by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack and the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP.
“Since COVID-19 shut down live performances across Australia last month, unprecedented numbers of musicians, road crew and other music workers have been turning to Support Act for crisis assistance,” Chairperson, Sally Howland, said.
“Despite dozens of online fundraising campaigns by hundreds of artists over recent weeks, the organisation has been stretched to the absolute limit by these cries for help so today’s announcement will be a game changer for the entire music community.”
The funding will go towards providing crisis relief to artists, crew and music workers who have lost their jobs and income as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
“We applaud the Government for the assistance packages they have already provided - the JobSeeker and JobKeeper benefits will go a long way to providing a safety net for the majority of people in the music industry affected by the COVID-19 crisis and we encourage all eligible artists, crew and music workers to register for these benefits asap,” Support Act CEO Clive Miller said.
“This additional funding from the Government will enable us to ensure that Support Act can provide short term financial support to those artists, crew and music workers who fall through the cracks for any reason and are unable to access Government Benefits; and those who are injured, unwell or have a mental health issue that is preventing them from being able to work.”
Meanwhile, APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston said the funding comes at "a critical time" for many in the Australian music industry.
"The introduction of necessary restrictions on public gatherings in March due to the pandemic has had a profound and immediate impact on the music industry," he said.
"This has been devastating for hundreds of thousands of artists, musicians, songwriters, crew, managers and workers across the local industry.”