Thewlis calls for continued efforts for state event insurance

Simon Thewlis: "Politics is a numbers game and if a bunch back benchers are getting calls from angry events people in their areas, that eventually starts to register"

Following on from the recent meeting between representatives of the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) and Minister Dan Teehan, to ask for Commonwealth led event insurance. Simon Thewlis co-founder of Save Victorian Events believes efforts should be maintained at a local level to get the same commitment from state governments.

“It’s great that BECA have managed to speak with Federal Minister Dan Teehan and that there were real operators [events professionals] in the room.” Says Thelwis

“We know that the Victorian State government is openly working on event insurance. Martin Pakula [Minister for Tourism and Major Events] has said that many times now. We know the Arts Minister is also going down that path. It means it’s a live thing and we need to be giving them all the positive encouragement that we can. Once they get this scheme in place every other state will follow because it’s a serious competitive advantage.”

The difficulty with lobbying at a local level is that state governments are a source of funding for events businesses, which can make criticism difficult. But as Thewlis points out, its all about politics. “Politics is a numbers game and if a bunch back benchers are getting calls from angry events people in their areas, that eventually starts to register. As an industry we need to do more of that.”  He provides some perspective “I had a meeting with my local member who was a Labour guy, who’d received 67 emails from events people in his electorate and that was the most emails he’d had on any issue that month. And that was only 67 people.”

Government funded event insurance has been successfully implemented in the UK, and is recognised as an essential component in rebuilding confidence for operators and clients.