Covid strikes again with NSW, Victoria and ACT in lockdown which means that live performance, events and screen projects are drying up, or have been completely shut down. With much of that work generated from the eastern states it also means that the other states are feeling the downturn in work as well. Not a pretty picture.

Members involved in events and live performance have suffered the most, with some theatres and venues dark for over 18 months. Disappointingly, support from the federal government has been woeful. Because of the short contracts that are the norm in our industries, we have missed out on much of the financial support that has been on offer. Our industries and the arts in general have had little support from the federal government. It’s worth remembering that the arts in general is an annual $17 billion (yes BILLION) industry that not only boosts the Australia economy and projects a sophisticated, cultural, creative intelligent image of Australia to the world, but also generates interest in what Australia has to offer, worth millions in terms of global exposure. You would think our PM, ex-marketing man that he was, would see this value.

The federal government’s mishandling of the Covid vaccination roll-out and the subsequent blow-out in infections has led to many screen productions, which up until now have seen Australia has a safe place to make films, close down or relocate to other countries. This business will be difficult to win back. Our federal politicians are happy to rub shoulders and bath in the glamour of high profile actors and directors, but are sadly ignorant of the needs of our industries. Coal and fossil fuels get massive handouts, mere crumbs for the arts. We all need to contact our federal members and agitate for a better deal for our most import industries.

We feel for our colleagues who have been doing tough over the last 18 months and hope we can alleviate some of the stress by connecting through our new series of APDG Dialogues in Design, virtual meet-ups with our live performance colleagues and visiting our Wellbeing page. Please remember that if in financial stress and membership fees are a problem, our business manager Rebecca Whittington will be more than happy to help.

On a more cheerful note, we can look forward to our 10th Anniversary APDG Awards in November where we can delight and celebrate the work of our very talented membership. Because of Covid lockdowns this will now be a virtual ceremony. All of our membership can take part in the celebrations, as it will be live streamed. Can’t wait to see the amazing work that has been produced over the last couple of years.

– George

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