ScoMo under fire from Gold Coast production company ‘left for dead’

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at his visit last month to Creative Productions on the Gold Coast.

A Gold Coast production company which services the live event industry has slammed the Federal Government’s coronavirus arts support package, saying it leaves suppliers out in the cold.

Creative Productions was visited last month by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to spruik the government’s support package for the arts sector. But chief financial officer Stephen Knight says the company is one of many suppliers who are unable to access the grants package.

Creative Productions’ revenue stream dried up in March like many of those involved in the events industry. However, Knight says the grants were targeted at companies that organised festivals and events but left the technical services that support them out of the loop.

“Right now we have very little support to keep going,” Knight told the Brisbane Times.

“The entire industry is being left for dead. If this continues, at the end of this pandemic you will have no production companies left to actually stage any events.”

Currently the company has 21 staff on JobKeeper but but is still paying a reduced rent despite not having any revenue coming in.

Knight also says the banks are unwilling to lend to companies that have no revenue stream, despite the government arts package pledging to offer 100 per cent loan guarantees to keep businesses afloat.

“The banks know nothing of it,” he said.

Speaking to the Brisbane Times, a government spokesperson said the flow on effects of the grants would benefit the rest of the event supply chain when those events restarted.

“We are trying to help as many businesses as possible through this crisis through our JobKeeper wage subsidy, cash-flow boost for small to medium enterprises and not-for-profits, investment incentives and a safety net for companies facing distress,” the spokesperson said.

“We know the enormous challenges facing so many businesses like Creative Productions and we’ll continue to work closely with every sector and deliver further support as needed.”

Creative Productions was not alone in sharing its disappointment with the government, with a commentator on the story saying he was in “the same boat”.

“I’m in the same boat with an event technology company,” the reader posted. “Scomo said there would be loans of up to million dollars when he visited an exhibition build company in Sutherland but these have yet to materialise.”