COVID-19 has cruelled the confidence of the Victorian events sector. It’s time to restore the faith so these businesses can plan events in the future with the knowledge they won’t lose everything if they have to cancel.
The Liberal Nationals are today calling on the Andrews Labor Government to urgently intervene and help fill an insurance void that has become a nightmare for event organisers.
A significant insurance scheme must be put on the table so organisers can get on with business – without the fear of being financially ruined by snap COVID lockdowns.
The long overdue insurance scheme would enable baseline underwriting for Victorian events, taking the risk out of play.
The scheme would provide partial financial support for COVID-19 cancellations. Organisers would register for the insurance arrangement and sleep much easier, knowing any cancellation blow will be softened significantly.
Similar arrangements are already in place in Western Australia and Tasmania. Why not Victoria?
Insurance that incorporates cover for cancellations due to COVID is no longer available commercially. That inability to insure for COVID lockdowns has so meant the death of much-loved events across Victoria.
The lack of insurance is also effectively blocking future events, some years in the planning.
The Victorian events industry employs about 70,000 people. In Victoria, there are more than 12,000 events a year, contributing more than $12 billion a year to the economy.
The Liberal Nationals believe the Andrews Labor Government must also urgently create a designated taskforce within government to oversee, support and be a strong advocate for the events sector.
If not announced by Labor prior to the election, the Liberal Nationals would do so immediately on coming to Government.
Let’s give event organisers the confidence they need to get back to business – urgently.
Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:
“Event organisers desperately need some certainty to get on with business. How can they plan ahead when a sudden COVID cancellation can lead to financial ruin?
“We need to back Victoria’s events sector with an insurance plan similar to schemes already operating successfully in other states.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, Cindy McLeish:
“Events take months to plan and without any certainty for these family businesses who are putting their money on the line, they simply won’t go ahead.
“These family businesses use local contractors, they provide thousands of jobs, they support many local communities and without them Victoria’s economy suffers.”