The Andrews Labor Government has been completely trumped by the New South Wales Government’s level of support for their events sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New South Wales Government’s state budget committed $200 million across a four-year period to support the events sector with their State Significant Event Fund.
New South Wales support is a stark contrast to the Andrews Labor Government’s near abandonment and casual shut down of events in Victoria.
In comparison, the Andrews Labor Government made a whopping 59 per cent cut to Tourism and Major Events Funding Support in the 2021-22 State Budget, right when they needed it most.
In an attempt to compensate for the snap lockdown which included the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, the Andrews Labor Government announced a $20 million package for events which most event organisers are ineligible for.
The Victorian events sector was once a flourishing $12 billion sector, providing over 65,000 jobs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector has been decimated by the Andrews Labor Government’s snap lockdowns, harsh restrictions and inability to provide needed support.
Current restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne limits events to 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors, forcing many events to be cancelled or postponed. In comparison, the NSW Government is encouraging events to go ahead because organisers have good COVID safety plans. The New South Wales Government genuinely want to support this vital sector.
Labor has not provided a plan or roadmap for further lifting on restrictions, making decisions on the fly that leave room for error and has already forced many operators to cancel their events.
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, David Davis:
“The Andrews Labor Government has a frightening lack of knowledge of the vital Victorian events sector and how to best support them.
“The events sector is among the hardest hit during the pandemic and are struggling to recover.
“The Andrews Labor Government needs to support the use of COVID-Safe plans for events as New South Wales are doing, instead of shutting down the events sector.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, Cindy McLeish:
“The Gladys Berejiklian Liberals have it all over the Andrews Labor Government.
“All the events operators receive in Victoria is Labor’s cold shoulder and their pleas for help falling on deaf ears.
“The Andrews Labor Government needs to take a leaf out of New South Wales’ book on how to genuinely support the events sector.”