In a bid to boost the creative economy, the federal government announced the $250 million support package called “The Covid-19 Creative Economy JobMaker Package” on 25th June 2020. This support package includes a $90 million Show Starter Loans Scheme.  These much-needed support packages are being delivered as part of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. The Federal Government will guarantee 100 percent of the loans amount.  

Craig Dangar from Vault Accountants has been working closely with his clients in applying for these loans, he notes that “this is the shot in the arm that creative industries need, with the inability to obtain cancellation insurance due to covid, many event operators are on their knees and need additional funding to put events on”.

These concessional loans will be a huge benefit to Australia’s creative economy. They will make it possible for entertainment practitioners to fund new events and productions which have been difficult to orchestrate since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.    

Last year, as part of the 2020-21 federal budget, the Australian government announced around $800 million of additional funding to support the nations creative and cultural sectors. 

Screen Australia been given access to $33 million to support the continued development and production of Australian content. This funding consists of $30 million to support Australian film and television drama, documentaries and children’s’ productions. Another $3 million will be distributed to foster high-quality Australian screenwriting and script development.  

The Australian Children’s Television Foundation has been given $20 million to increase support for the production, development and distribution of high-quality Australian children’s on-screen content.  

Australia’s national collecting institutions have also been given access to $31.2 million for capital works, storage and digitisation projects, and to also support Trove.  

On 26th September 2020, the Australian Government also announced $22.9 million in support to assist Australia’s national cultural institutions. This funding will enable programs and services to continue being delivered to the Australian people.  

This includes; The Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund. Which is a $75 million competitive grant funding that provides capital to aid production and event businesses to stage new concerts, tours, festivals, and events as social distancing restrictions ease. This includes in real life events and also through digital delivery productions.

Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF) is $50 million support package presented to Screen Australia for a Temporary Interruption Fund to assist local screen production. The TIF will support local television and film producers to secure money and start filming again, which will support thousands of jobs across the entertainment sector. Filming of new productions has predominately been paused as insurers are not providing coverage for covid-19. The eligibility guidelines, information and criteria on how to apply for the fund can be accessed through Screen Australia.

The government has also announced a $35 million “Covid-19 Arts Sustainability Fund”. This will offer direct financial support to aid significant Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to their viability as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. This fund is aimed to support businesses in industries such as; music, circus, dance, theatre and other forms of the performing arts. To provide this fund the Australian government has partnered up with the Australian council.

On 17th July 2020, Australian Government announced an extra $400 worth of funding for the Location Incentive to attract large budget international television and film productions to Australia over the next seven years. The Location Incentive matches the Location Offset. This will establish an ongoing channel of work for people involved with Australia’s screen production sector.

Government Support the Indigenous Arts

This government funding is built on the $27 million targeted support package announced by the federal government on 9th April 2020, which has been delivered via the Relief and Recovery Fund to offer dedicated economic support to Indigenous visual art centres, regional arts and the live music and performance industry.  

This consists of; Indigenous art centres and Indigenous art fairs supported through the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program. This program offers to $7 million to maintain operations, support artists and their communities and allow the continued creation of artwork so income can be generated through online sales and when the crisis has passed ($3.5 million in 2019–20 and $3.5 million in 2020–20).  

Support Now, a charity has been given $10 million to provide instant crisis relief to artists, crew, music and live performance employees who lost their job or are experiencing hardship following the cancellation of gigs, music festivals and other liv performances across Australia.

This new government program also offers artists and arts organisations in rural Australia access to additional funding of $10 million via the Regional Arts Fund in 2019–20 to develop new work.