Keep Our Venues Alive campaign launches

20 March, 2020 by Andy Young

With the hospitality and accommodation sectors facing a very uncertain future a national campaign to try and save thousands of Australian jobs has launched today.

Keep Our Venues Alive has been launched by the Night Time Industry Association with wider industry support expected to follow.

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Chair of the Night Time Industries Association Michael Rodrigues said: “Venues across Australia find themselves in a critical situation with rapidly falling numbers and restrictions on gathering over 100 people. The hundreds of thousands of people who work in venues across the country need urgent government support and need it now.

“Inaction will result in some of our best loved pubs, restaurants, cafes, theatres and music venues closing down. The impact on the Australian economy and our local communities will be disastrous.

“The Federal Government is taking action to save other industries – as it should – but the local Aussie pub, music hall, small bars and restaurants and the 900,000 people they employ all face ruin unless financial help arrives immediately.

“Other governments in Europe and Scandinavia are taking decisive action to save hospitality businesses. These businesses are directly affected by the social distancing policy and need to be recognised as a special class.”

The campaign calls on the Federal Government to:

  • Work with local councils to suspend Business Rates on venues for at least 3 months
  • Make financial provision for all venue staff including casual staff, and self-employed people who cannot work (for at least 3 months)
  • Extend Tax Relief to the hospitality, culture and recreational sector for at least the next 3 months
  • Support Landlords to allow them to give rent holidays to businesses for at least 3 months
  • Create a fund to facilitate financial support for businesses if forced to close / or ensure government forces insurances to cover closures with an additional clause for all businesses including events and festivals

Many other countries affected by COVID-19 have introduced emergency financial relief for that is specific to venues.

  • France has committed €300 billion to stop businesses failing;
  • Spain is covering the cost of 70% of employee wages during the crisis;
  • Denmark is funding 75% of employment costs

However, so far no government funding has been committed to specifically supporting venues or their staff.

There is more information on the Keep Our Venues Alive website, and you can sign the petition to the Government here.