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Byron Shire
October 25, 2021

Greens – Let’s Re-Create Australia

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The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.

None are suffering financially more than those in the arts and entertainment industries and there has been very little in the way of government support for those whose full-time income relies on creative work.

Yesterday the Greens launched their proposal for an economic stimulus package targeted at engaging the hundreds of thousands of artists and creatives who have lost their jobs during Covid-19, and the thousands more workers who have lost their jobs due to the flow-on impact on hospitality and tourism.

Plan comprises three elements

Greens Spokesperson for the Arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the plan comprises three main elements including ‘Creating Australia’s Future’ which would see artists in residence in every school and library across the country, the ‘Billion Stories Fund’ to kick start our local screen industry prioritising Australian stories and children’s content, and ‘Australia Live’ which would inject funding into Australia’s festival, music and live performance sector.

The arts and entertainment industry was one of the first to be hit by social distancing restrictions, it has suffered enormously throughout the lockdown and will be one of the last to recover

‘The arts and entertainment industry was one of the first to be hit by social distancing restrictions, it has suffered enormously throughout the lockdown and will be one of the last to recover,’ said Senator Hanson-Young. ‘Yet, it has also been an industry so integral to helping Australians get through this crisis. Despite the job losses, social isolation and mental health problems, this anti-arts government has failed to recognise helping the industry to survive helps us all.

Senator Hanson-Young said the arts and entertainment industry will be absolutely vital to our economic recovery. ‘Not only are other industries like tourism, hospitality and accommodation all going to benefit from its revival, but the sector is primed for stimulus. The industry can go in early and hard and put money into the pockets of workers who are in great need of an income and are going to spend what they earn. Without action, we stand to lose a generation of artists.

Dancers have a tough time keeping dance fit during isolation, let alone trying to pay the bills. Photo Tree Faerie.

A plan that is jobs-rich

‘The Green’s Create Australia plan is jobs-rich and a funding commitment of $2.3 billion makes up less than 1% of what the Government has already spent on the Covid-19 response ($320 billion).

The Morrison Government has a golden opportunity to enhance Australia’s sovereignty and cultural identity

‘The Morrison Government has a golden opportunity to enhance Australia’s sovereignty and cultural identity. Artists in Residence throughout our schools and libraries will be of enormous educational benefit to students and entire communities.

‘Our screen production is world-class and with Hollywood all but shut down we should be seizing the opportunity to create more Australian shows and films than ever. The decision by the Federal Government to let broadcasters out of their local content requirements was a kick in the guts to an industry on its knees, the Arts Minister must make amends.

‘There can be no denying our arts and entertainment industry has been there for us during times of crisis and even during COVID-19 when many artists don’t even have an income, they’ve still stepped up to keep creating and connecting with community. If we are going to restore our social fabric we need to bring people back together through live performance, when it’s safe to do so, and that is going to take funding support. But it will be worth it as the return on investment from this sector will be enormous and in more ways than one.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has mounted a petition on her website imploring the Government to support The Greens plan to Re-Create Australia.

 

 


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