Monday, 19 October 2020
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (16:11): In my home state we have amazing arts festivals. Indeed, South Australia is often known as the festival state. Our city is alive with festivals—Fringe, the arts, cabaret, the Feast Festival. There are so many wonderful festivals to enjoy which attract significant economic benefits for our state.
Unfortunately, the COVID period has been a very difficult time for those in the arts. Despite how important the arts sector is to South Australia, the state and federal Liberal governments have shown that they just do not value the arts. The Premier and the Prime Minister left over 200 Adelaide Festival Centre staff in limbo. Disgracefully, the Liberals have refused to acknowledged these workers. There was no JobKeeper available for them from the federal government and there was no extra support from the state government. With no plan in place, there are so many people that are worried about the future. They are incredibly skilled. They have wonderful skills. They would be a real loss if we don’t continue to have them. Unless someone steps in now, this loss of passionate and knowledgeable staff will be really tragic. The Adelaide Festival Centre lost more than 77 show bookings, with the centre having to refund $2 million. This is terrible, and needs action from the government.