A long-awaited win for the Victorian Events Industry, the final report for the ‘Inquiry into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism and events sectors’ was officially tabled in Victorian Parliament yesterday.
The extensive report outlines a timeline of key events for the COVID-19 pandemic response, highlights the impacts the pandemic has had on the sectors, recommends future support measures, and compares restrictions on Victorian events to other states at different points in time throughout the pandemic.
Submissions were provided by over 150 different companies and individuals. Several transcripts from public hearings and site visits that were conducted back in April and May with notable members of our industry were also included in the report.
Just some of a great list of industry contributors included Simon Thewlis from Save Victorian Events, Tiny Good, Director at Show Tech Australia, Janusz Zak, Director at Festival Enterprises, and Gab Robinson, CEO at Harry the Hirer, to name a few.
“What concerns me—over my journey and the 6000 shows I have done, the 600-odd acts I have worked with, the amazing events we have done and the joy we have brought to the world—is we are not recognised. We have no assistance”, said Founding Director at CrewCare, Howard Freeman, during his time on the stand.
“We put our hand up to everything that happens in society. One event in this country for the bushfires that Michael Gudinski organised raised $150 million that went back to society. Have we seen that amount of money back to us? Not a chance.”
Save Victoria Events posted a link to the final report on their social media along with a statement of hope that “government will now have a better understanding of our industry and what we need to survive and rebuild”.
Whilst there is still a very long way to go, this news should offer a little optimism for all those event workers and businesses who have been struggling in Victoria during the past 18 months.
It also provides an opportunity for other states to piggyback off this too and start building some more momentum nationally. After all, we aren’t a state-specific industry. The Australian Events Industry is one industry, Australia-wide, and we need to act as one voice to effect real change.
Well done to all who were involved to generate this report and get it into parliament.
You can read the full report here.
Photo: Chee Hong