Victorian activist group gets Bill Shorten to jump on board for event industry support

Save Victorian Events, the grassroots group set up to lobby local members of the Victorian parliament for event industry support, had its efforts rewarded last week when MP Bill Shorten presented the event industry’s need for continued support, in federal parliament.

Using preliminary results from a survey put together by the group, he made an outstanding case to the Morrison government, to extend JobKeeper support for the events industry after March, which is when the scheme is due to finish.

The survey indicates that nearly 40% of Victorian event businesses will be unable to continue without some support after March, with the remaining 60% expecting to manage on just a quarter of their usual revenue from July to December.

In a series of well-crafted sentences, Bill Shorten neatly articulated the importance and plight of the events sector “The live events industry is a fundamental part of the Australian economy” he said. “an industry too important to be thrown on the scrap heap”.

After presenting the results of the survey, he closed off his presentation with a request for the Morrison government to reconsider its position on JobKeeper support for the events industry after March. “Please Mr Morrison, do not confuse stubbornness with leadership. There is no disgrace in amending your views, as you find that the facts present new information.”

Simon Thewlis who is one of the founders of Save Victorian Events is understandably delighted with the support from the MP. “We had a campaign in place for the past two weeks to get people to write to their MPs and Bill Shorten got to hear about it. And to his credit he jumped right on it.”

The survey ran from the 3rd to the 7th February and had a total of 560 responses from 360 businesses and 200 individuals.

When asked about communications and collaboration with other representative bodies in the events Thewlis says “We regularly compare notes with the Exhibition and Events Association of Australia and I’ve just recently spoken with Nigel [Nigel Collin] who is the Chair of Meetings & Events Australia. We see our role as keeping information flowing.”

“We just want to help with dialogue within the events industry [for events to recover after COVID]. I certainly don’t want to be doing this in a year’s time.”

The full results of the survey can be found here

For Victorian event organisers keen to lobby their local MP

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