Vale Melbourne the events capital

Victoria’s events industry has been dealt “a huge kick in the guts” following the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Events Support Package released today.

Labor’s hard-line and out of touch criteria means the majority of suppliers and event contractors will again miss out.

With just $20 million on offer to prop up the entire sector that’s been hit hardest from Labor’s lockdowns:

  • $10 million has been diverted to the arts – on top of the $508m it has already received;
  • A further $7 million to ‘major events’ – with a stipulation that only businesses with a payroll of greater than $3 million can apply ruling most events businesses out;
  • The final $3 million of the package is restricted to so-called Tier 1 and Tier 2 events, events with crowds above 1,001 people, meaning many events sector firms won’t qualify.

As a result, according to industry insiders, the vast majority of the events industry – including most of the hardest hit businesses – are eligible for nothing.

Annually there are around 118,000 events across Victoria and it’s estimated that 100,000 events have been lost due to Labor’s lockdowns worth around $10 billion.

The Andrews Labor Government has decimated the events industry and has no plan for Victoria’s economic recovery.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, David Davis:

“Minister Pakula has got this completely wrong demonstrating a frightening lack of knowledge of the vital Victorian events sector.

“The Legislative Council moved on 18 February to establish an inquiry into the hardship faced by events and tourism industry operators due to COVID-19 restrictions and listening to hours of harrowing testimony.

“But it appears Minister Pakula had better things to do than listen to the industry – how else could he have designed his support package so badly?

“The arts and creative industries sector is deserving of more support but money should not have been stripped from the already decimated events sector.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, Cindy McLeish:

“Victoria’s tourism and events industries are on their knees.

“Our visitor economy has haemorrhaged up to $2.5 billion per month and is projected to shed 85,300 jobs by September 2021.

“The Victorian Events Support Package is simply insufficient, poorly targeted and will do nothing at all to assist the majority of Victoria’s events businesses.

“Unless Martin Pakula wakes up to his error and actually helps these businesses, we may as well say goodbye to the claim that Melbourne is the events capital, because there will be no businesses left to make it happen.”

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