Labor will back a Greens-led push to protect live performances with an insurance guarantee for COVID-related event cancellations.
After more than $110 billion of live entertainment industry cancellations during the pandemic, the parties are calling for a Federal Insurance Guarantee Fund to underwrite events affected by COVID health measures.
Event organisers have not been able to get insurance to cover cancellations, but a Senate committee rejected the scheme, noting the federal government’s “significant” industry support across the last two years.
In a joint dissenting response, Labor and Greens members of the committee labelled the inability to insure against COVID cancellations “a market failure”, stating the fund was the only way to give organisers confidence to start planning events again.
“Our artists, musicians and their crews are being devastated by another season of events, festivals, concerts, exhibitions and live performances being cancelled and the insurance industry just isn’t there to help them,” Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Living with COVID will mean living without many gigs, festivals and events if they can’t get insurance and have to keep taking massive financial hits.
“The live performance sector isn’t asking for a hand-out, it is asking for a product that isn’t available to them and one that is fit for purpose.”
The committee had heard 65 per cent of full-time live entertainment and sport jobs were lost last year.
The federal government pledged $475 million funding in its Creative Economy COVID support package earlier this year.