Speeches

The Arts Sector and COVID-19

May 14, 2020

I also want to single out the arts sector. We have a huge arts community in the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury. It's not just the front people, the actors and the lead singers; it's the band that sits behind them, the roadies who get the gear on stage, the producers, the lighting operators, the stagehands, the filmmakers. There are so many professions connected to the arts. Within theatres, it's the people who sell the tickets or sell you a drink at the bar at interval. Many of these people are missing out on any government support because the arts sector often has very short-term contracts and people haven't qualified for JobKeeper. I really urge the government to listen to the arts sector. We have relied on them while we've been in a routine that's much closer to home. We've listened to them and we've watched them. We need all these people to be ready to get back onstage for us when coronavirus is under greater control and we're allowed to get back outside more and to meet in larger groups. I really beg the government to step up to this. These are ordinary people in my community and they need your help. This government needs to keep supporting people as we move through what will continue to be challenging times.

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