LIVE music venues have been dealt a double whammy, with JobKeeper payments running out at the end of March and claims they were overlooked for WA’s latest winding back of Covid restrictions.
Last Friday premier Mark McGowan announced most venues across the state would be able to increase their capacity to 75 per cent as of this coming Monday.
But Mojo’s bar part-owner Andrew Ryan says when he discovered he would be stuck with the existing two square metre rule, he contacted the premier’s office for clarification.
“Much of the [department of premier and cabinet] office knew nothing about it, and I don’t think they had considered the live music industry at all,” Mr Ryan said.
He says venues such as his have a limited number of patrons who stay for most of the evening, while restaurants who’ve been able to increase their limit, have a high turnover each night.
Mr Ryan said they’d also feel the end of JobKeeper keenly.
“We were down 25 per cent on revenue from last September so we don’t get JobKeeper, but there are a lot of people around us who are reliant on it.”
He says in order to run shows, they’ll have to pick up the payments of sole traders, meaning he’ll feel another round of pain.
Federal Fremantle Labor MP Josh Wilson likened the end of JobKeeper as a cliff facing sectors such as tourism and the arts.
“There’s no justification for a brutal and arbitrary deadline, especially when the government has been super lax in allowing profitable big companies to pocket millions in JobKeeper they didn’t need,” said Mr Wilson, who took Opposition leader Anthony Albanese to Mojo’s last week.
Mr Wilson said in March there were an estimated 1780 and 5478 workers in the Fremantle electorate relying on JobKeeper.
by STEVE GRANT