Tens of thousands of jobs in and around the hospitality industry across Australia are in crisis after enforced closures.
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(last updated: 11am, 1 April)
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Keep Our Venues Alive. Statement 1 April.
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) today welcomed the Federal Government’s change of heart and the provision of a $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy, believing that the scheme provides a ray of hope to the heavily impacted hospitality sector.
Earlier this month, the NTIA launched a campaign entitled ‘Keep Our Venues Open (KOVA) to help the hospitality industry navigate through the Coronavirus crisis. Through this campaign, the NTIA is continuing to gather feedback from industry members including venue owners, employees and suppliers to understand if this initiative will be enough to keep hospitality businesses alive as well as any gaps in the scheme identified by the industry.
Michael Rodrigues, Chair of the Night Time Industries Association, today said, “We welcome the introduction of a wage subsidy scheme to protect employees who have recently lost their jobs or are on the verge of being sacked.”
“We have consistently called for such a program to support many operators in the hospitality sector who have seen trade decimated by restrictions on trade and lockdowns. The Federal Government has repeatedly argued against a subsidy scheme, but we welcome this change of heart, which will bring comfort, certainty and hope to many businesses and employees.”
Under the JobKeeper initiative, hospitality businesses who have been directly impacted by the Covid-19 will be eligible to access a wage subsidy to assist in continuing to employ and pay employees, even who might have already been stood down.
The hospitality industry is currently digesting the Federal Government’s announcement and the NTIA are supporting these industry partners in interpreting what is on offer.
“We have always argued that it is much easier for mothballed organisations to spring back in activity than those who have closed down completely, and the government now seemingly accepts this logic.”
“The fact that extra money has been made available for hospitality businesses demonstrates just how hard the sector has been hit. We will work with government over the next days and weeks to urgently support businesses that need critical help. Make no mistake, this is a big win for the sector and a ray of hope in these dark times.” Rodrigues said.
The NTIA has sought commentary from leading industry partners and the following are available for comment:
- Kenny Graham, Founder and Owner of Mary’s Hospitality Group
- Pasan Wijesana, Owner of Earl’s Juke Joint, Newtown
- Paul Waterson, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Australian Venue Co.