Representatives of the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) have met to discuss business survival and retention of specialist industry skills, risk mitigation and confidence, and how recovery needs to stimulate demand.
Geoff Donaghy, deputy chair of the BECA, from ICC Sydney, said: “Given the significant lead time required for the national restart of the business events industry, many parts of our critical supply chain will be faced with the challenge of surviving without functional revenue, noting that any deposits received for future activity must be securely held until services are delivered. These businesses will continue to run at a loss for another six months or more.”
BECA has submitted a response to the Live Performance Federal Insurance Guarantee Fund Bill 2021 before the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee. BECA has argued that the lack of Covid-19 pandemic related event insurance is a handbrake on confidence and will slow the recovery of the business events industry in 2022.
Donaghy proposed: “A national Commonwealth Government led event insurance scheme, achieved in partnership with state and territory governments, remains our preferred model.”
Tony Burke, shadow minister for the arts, agreed: “The live music and events industry needs an interruption insurance scheme to get back on its feet and plan for its future. The federal government has been willing to provide such a scheme for the screen sector but not for the arts or live events industry – and they’ve given no reason why.”
These demands have come in the wake of the Australian states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria moving to open their borders with each other.
James Kavanagh (pictured), managing director of the Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, has welcomed this decision: “The return of free movement between the states after more than six months of travel restrictions will mean so much to big business and SMEs that have been desperate to return to interstate trading and recruiting.
“Sydney and Melbourne are two thirds of Australia’s golden triangle and to have that two-way lane back open is another brick in the rebuilding of the nation’s economic wall. To put it into context, both NSW and Victoria made up 55% of the share of the national economy in 2019-20.”