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Greens leader Adam Bandt has called for a government-backed $250 minimum performance fee for artists and the creation of a $1 billion live performance fund to support the arts sector.

Speaking in Melbourne today with arts spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young, Bandt backed a Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance proposal for a minimum performance fee when organisations receive government funding.

Greens leader Adam Bandt.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“Artists helped get us through the longest lockdown in the world here in Melbourne, but government support has been sorely lacking,” Bandt said.

“The impacts of the pandemic are still with us, as we saw with the devastating impacts of COVID-caused cancellations at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

“For too long, performers have been expected to wear massive financial risks and this instability means a lot of people can’t get into or stay in the industry.

“In [the event we hold the] balance of power, the Greens will push for musicians, comedians and other performers playing in government-backed events to get properly paid, and for more support for artists when gigs are cancelled.”

The MEAA campaign for a minimum support fee for musicians has been endorsed by Labor state governments in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.

Hanson Young said a minimum performance fee was “the least the government can do” to provide ongoing support for the arts sector.

“The sector was smashed literally overnight and suffered the longest and hardest, yet repeated pleas to the Morrison government for adequate help to survive and rebuild have been ignored,” she said.

“This minimum fee pledge is part of a comprehensive policy to revive and secure our arts and live performance industry.”

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