The Australian Government has recently announced its $250 million JobMaker plan to assist the Australian arts industry ride out the impacts of COVID-19. We set out the plan's initiatives below.
- Seed Investment
The Government will provide $75 million in grant funding to support new productions, festivals and events through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund. This competitive seed funding is intended to fill the gap by providing seed investment for new productions. Grant amounts will range from $75,000 to $2 million.
Arts businesses will bid for competitive funding, with a focus on audience type, popularity of previous events, organisational sustainability and jobs created.
- Temporary Interruption Fund
The Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF) will be administered by Screen Australia and will offer $50 million to support film and television producers to restart filming. The TIF will operate for 12 months commencing 1 July 2020 and is expected to support around 50 Australian productions with total expenditure of almost $500 million.
- Show Starter Loans
These loans will provide $90 million in concessional loans to assist arts and entertainment businesses to fund new productions and events, to be delivered through banks and supported by terms and conditions tailored to the arts and entertainment sector.
Loans will be provided to companies for activities that generate jobs – including through the synergy between arts and entertainment on the one hand, and travel, tourism and hospitality on the other. Loans will also increase arts access in outer metropolitan, regional and remote areas. Lenders will provide facilities that only have to be drawn down if needed. Loan terms will be up to five years, with an initial 12 month repayment deferral. The Commonwealth will guarantee 100 per cent of loan amounts.
- Sustainability of Sector-Significant Organisation
$35 million of funding will be provided to support significant arts and culture organisations and infrastructure facing sustainability disruption due to COVID-19. This funding will be administered and delivered in close consultation with the Australia Council. Sustainability funding will be provided through existing funding arrangements, specifically for organisations with an Australia Council current multi-year funding agreement. Other organisations with current and significant relationships with the Commonwealth will be provided funding by exception.
A new Creative Economy Taskforce (Taskforce) will be established to support the administration and implementation of the assistance package alongside the Office for the Arts and the Australia Council. Members of the Taskforce will be appointed by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts. We expect the guidelines for the grant and loan programs to be released in the coming weeks.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.