Cash boost for workers, $75m for arts but zero help for events

The NSW Government has pledged $75 million to help keep the performing arts sector afloat during the current lockdown, but there has been no mention of the events sector getting any targeted financial relief.

NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin said performing arts organisations and live music venues impacted by the cancellation of shows would be eligible for the financial help.

The arts package comes in addition to the broader lockdown support announced jointly by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison for those affected within the Greater Sydney area.

In short, workers will receive a $100 boost to their income support to $600 a week while businesses will be offered up to $10,000 to keep them going through the lockdown as long as they can show a 30 per cent fall in turnover. They must also ensure they do not lay off any staff during that time.

Sole traders and others without employees will receive $1000 a week as a set payment.

“We have followed the same arrangements here in NSW that were put in place for Victoria,” Morrison said.

“Thankfully that lockdown was only in effect for two weeks but clearly here in NSW the situation has taken a very different turn.”

Berejiklian also announced the Greater Sydney lockdown will be extended for at least another two weeks after NSW recorded 97 new Covid cases.