Arts virtual roundtable

The Morrison Government today convened a virtual roundtable with peak cultural and creative sector bodies to discuss the impacts of the community response to COVID-19 on Australia’s cultural and creative businesses and institutions.

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The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, spoke with representatives from National Collecting Institutions, the live performing industry, Indigenous Art industry representatives, the Australia Council and visual arts organisations, amongst others.

The roundtable provided an opportunity for Minister Fletcher to hear directly from the arts organisations on the ways they are responding to the challenges they are facing as a result of COVID-19, as well as their suggestions for support measures.

Minister Fletcher also briefed attendees on measures announced under last week’s $17.6 billion package, and their relevance to businesses in the cultural and creative sector. For example, there is cash flow assistance for small and medium businesses to support them continuing to pay employees, up to a maximum of $25,000.

Minister Fletcher said the cultural and creative sector is understandably concerned about COVID-19 and today’s roundtable was valuable in providing Government a view of the near-term circumstances for the sector.

“It is clear that COVID-19 presents significant issues for our arts organisations – and like all Australians, they are showing great community spirit in calmly and efficiently dealing with the circumstances they are facing in the near-term so we can come through this challenging period,” Minister Fletcher said.

“I thank sector representatives for their time and contributions at today’s roundtable, and for their leadership across the creative and cultural sector. A number of practical suggestions were put forward during our discussion.

“The information I obtained today from this roundtable will feed into whole of Government planning on COVID-19 responses.

“Similar consultations are being conducted by my Ministerial colleagues across a range of sectors.”

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