Arts sector must not be caught up in internal Government tug o’ war

Senator Marie Sherlock
20 August 2020

Responding to the latest Government u-turn on regulations for the Culture and Arts sector, Labour spokesperson for the Arts Marie Sherlock has said the Government mishandling in providing clarity on the latest guidelines is outrageous and further evidence of the chaos that has become the hallmark of the new government.

Senator Sherlock said:

“The chopping and changing of advice over recent days has sown unnecessary confusion. Worse again, the debacle has imposed unnecessary costs on some live music venues and productions as they planned to open based on initial guidelines from the department. Already we have had reports of live music venues who had set the wheels in motion to put on gigs over future weeks.”

“Ultimately, the outrageous handling of the guidelines is reflective of an internal tug o’ war between government Departments over the way forward in dealing with the pandemic. It is clear that those making decisions are completely out of touch with the Arts sector. There is a serious lack of vision as to how the Arts and cultural sector can operate over coming months. The livelihoods of thousands of those in the sector cannot be left hanging like this.

“As we face into a long winter living with the Covid pandemic in our country, the mental health of our nation must take on an increased importance. Attendance at live performance events and sports events will become important outlets and all efforts must be undertaken to enable them to attend in a safe and socially distanced manner.”

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