Government will continue to follow expert advice on theatre restrictions

Elise Archer,Minister for the Arts

Labor should be ashamed of their blatant politicising of COVID-19 restrictions that are in place to keep Tasmanians safe.

While the Tasmanian Government has consistently followed expert Public Health advice, Labor continues to undermine their expertise and constantly change their mind on how the State should respond to COVID-19.

It is because of our Government’s strong and consistent handling of the pandemic, in line with expert health advice, that we are in such a good position and able to hold these events.

The reality is, if you look overseas, the freedoms we are able to safely enjoy here are still out of reach for so many other jurisdictions.

Our Government recognises the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the State’s cultural and creative sector. We absolutely understand the frustrations of many in the community, and we know this has been incredibly tough on many industries. Yet we have seen incredible resilience and adaption from our arts community, underpinned by strong Government support.

We are strong supporters of the sector and have provided a package of assistance that included new funding for screen, contemporary music and arts organisations worth $1.5 million.

Our Government is also providing $4 million in new funding for the sector over two years in the 2020-21 State Budget.

We have also announced a $2 million program for the Tasmanian Government to share some of the financial risks associated with the reintroduction of live performances within our performing arts companies and venues.

What this will mean is that in the event restrictions need to be re-applied to protect the Tasmanian community from a COVID-19 outbreak, assistance will be available to help manage costs associated with booking cancellations, to ensure the box office is largely protected.

This will help provide certainty and confidence to the industry at this very important time.

Our Government will continue to work with Public Health to keep Tasmanians safe.

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