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20 October 2021

COVID-19 resources: financial support - update October 2021

COVID-19 resources: financial support - update October 2021

An updated summary of current COVID-19 restrictions and financial support available from the Federal Government, state governments and some other sources. Please follow the links for details and to apply. Note that situations change fast and some details in the article may have changed since the time of writing - please refer to the linked websites for latest updates.

Availability of crisis support from state governments varies by state, and income thresholds and other criteria apply. For general information and links, please see the COVID-19 resouces on each state government website: ACT - New South Wales - Northern Territory - Queensland - South Australia - Tasmania - Victoria - Western Australia.

Note that our Resonate Opportunities webpage has lots of non-COVID opportunities for composers, sound artists, performers, students, teachers, musicologists and other music professionals, and access to this list is currently free for all. A few of these opportunities are also included in the listings below.



Getting help during COVID-19 - general information regarding case numbers, vaccinations and payments and support available for individuals affected by COVID-19 and related restrictions and lockdowns. See also Australia Council's guide to the government COVID-19 assistance for the arts (last updated 23 September).

• Federal COVID-19 disaster payments are now available to eligible workers affected by lockdown in Southern Tasmania - more information and how to apply. These payments will come to an end in NSW and ACT because of the increased vaccination coverage - more information about these changes.

Support Act COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grants. With funding support from the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts, Support Act is offering cash grants of $2,000 ($2,700 to families with dependent children) to music and performing arts workers called COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grants (formerly known as MusicKeeper/CrewKeeper). These grants are not a wage subsidy but a one-off payment to help pay the rent/mortgage, put food on the table, keep connected by paying power or phone bills, registering or servicing the car, paying medical expenses and so on. These grants are not competitive and are available for everyone who meets the criteria. More details and how to apply: Support Act website. Separately from this, for music workers, Support Act also has non-COVID-19 crisis relief grants for those who are suffering financial hardship as a result of injury, ill-health or a mental health issue that is managed through a current Mental Health plan - more details on the website.

Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund provides support for the arts and entertainment sector to reactivate. The program is targeting organisations to assist in the presentation of cultural and creative projects, activities and events to rebuild confidence amongst investors, producers and consumers. Projects that target audiences in outer metropolitan, regional and remote areas will also be taken into account, as well as projects that in that involve tours and use local regional pre-production and production, services and support acts. The Fund is open until 31 December 2021 or until funds are allocated. Details: Australian Government website.

Indigenous Business Australia

Indigenous Business Australia is offering Indigenous business relief package for eligible Indigenous businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19, including Indigenous business not already IBA customers. This relief package has been designed in collaboration with the National Indigenous Australians Agency to respond to the immediate challenges Indigenous businesses are facing. For more information about support, please see the IBA website.


General COVID-19 information - case numbers and exposure locations, lockdown information. COVID-19 helpline (02) 6207 7244 operates 8am to 8pm daily. For the Access Canberra Business Liaison Line call (02) 6205 0900 or email ACBusinessTeam@act.gov.au. For support measures for individuals, see the ACT Government website.

• Federal COVID-19 disaster payments will come to an end in ACT because of the increased vaccination coverage - more information about these changes.

ACT Government Business Support. See this website about COVID-19 support currently available for businesses.

New South Wales

Summary of disaster payments for individuals and households in NSW. See also this page for all general information about cases, restrictions, vaccinations etc, and a detailed pdf summary of the reopening plan.

• Federal COVID-19 disaster payments will gradually come to an end in NSW because of the increased vaccination coverage - more information about these changes. If your income is still affected by movement restrictions, you'll need to reapply for the payment each week to remain eligible.

• NSW Jobsaver payments are also being wound down - for all related information, see the website.

• In mid-October, NSW Government announced a $86 million package intended to support artists, musicians, theatres, venues, festivals and cultural organisations in NSW to reopen and welcome back audiences. The funding will be delivered by Create NSW, with $50 million of the total going to the performing arts to assist in welcoming audiences back to theatres and other performance venues, and $25 million to stabilise established festivals, big and small. $5 million has been earmarked for the development of a film studio and theatre infrastructure strategy. $5 million for 'Culture Up Late' program will extend the successful evening program across some of Sydney's museums and galleries, and $1 million will go to film festivals to support the delivery of local and international festivals across Sydney, Western Sydney and South Western Sydney. More information about when the funding will be made available and how to apply is yet to be announced. The NSW Government has also established an Event Saver Fund that will provide support in the event major festivals and events are impacted by COVID-19 cancellations or postponements in 2022. This latest $86 million funding for the arts and cultural sector is in addition to the $75 million funding for the performing arts and live music announced earlier this year, and the $50 million Rescue and Restart funding package announced in 2020. See detailed announcement on Create NSW website.

Create NSW COVID Performing Arts package - urgent financial support to performing arts venues, producers and promoters impacted by the cancellation or postponement of performances resulting from the NSW Government COVID-19 Public Health Orders. Funding will cover performances impacted by NSW Government Public Health Orders from 26 June 2021 to 30 September 2021. For details and FAQs, see the Create NSW website.

Northern Territory

General COVID-19 information about case numbers and current restrictions. For emergency and wellbeing support, see the information and links on this NT Government website.

Events and public gatherings can be held in the Northern Territory subject to physical distancing and hygiene principles being applied to protect the community from any spread of COVID-19. A public event is an event or public gathering that is ticketed or open to the public at a private location or a public place. There are different requirements depending on the size of event and whether or not is it held inside or outside a major population centre.


General COVID-19 information about case numbers and current restrictions.

Business Queensland's COVID-19 business support grants for lockdown-impacted businesses. Deadline: for employing businesses 16 November 2021; for non-employing sole traders on 30 November 2021. For details, see the Queensland Government website.

The Queensland Arts Showcase Program (QASP) supports vibrant and accessible arts and cultural experiences for Queensland by individuals, organisations or collectives. The QASP program is delivered through three streams Arts Accelerate, Arts Activate and Arts Advantage. Applicants can be approved for one QASP grant only per financial year. This funding is not COVID-19 specific. Next deadlines depending on program: 29 October and 28 January/25 February. For details, see the Queensland Arts website.

South Australia

General COVID-19 information about case numbers and current restrictions. For information about both SA State and federal government support available to South Australian businesses, see this SA Government web page.


General COVID-19 information - see also specific restrictions currently in place in Southern Tasmania.

• Federal COVID-19 disaster payments will now be available to low income, casual and self-employed workers who have lost income due to an inability to work caused by the lockdown in Southern Tasmania - more information and how to apply. The claims process will open on Friday 22 October.

• For information about organising COVID-safe events in Tasmania, see recent update to Events Framework.

• For business support and helplines, see this Tasmanian Government web page.


Victorian Government's main COVID-19 webpage has the latest updates about exposure sites, lockdown and related restrictions. See also this webpage for financial support and resources for businesses and workers.

In October, the Victorian Government announced a $15 million package to support creative workers and organisations in the road to re-opening. One-off grants of $5,000 will be available for creative practitioners, including sole traders and freelancers, and grants of up to $10,000 are available for collectives, micro-organisations and businesses. This round of the program will be delivered in partnership with creative industry bodies. See website for full details.

Western Australia

General COVID-19 information and resources.

Please note that the links and details may change and new informations and updates may have come available since the publishing of this article. Please follow the main links at the top for up-to-date information.


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