Let Us DANCE - South Australia
Let Us DANCE - South Australia
To the Honourable Members of the House of Assembly in Parliament House Assembled and the South Australian COVID-19 Transition Committee:
The South Australian Entertainment Industry and the residents of greater South Australia are calling for immediate action to end the COVID-19 restrictions imposed on our sector by the COVID-19 Transition Committee. As most of the state’s residents have returned to a COVID-normal, we as an industry are still in a ‘lockdown’.
We are asking for an immediate easing of restrictions on dancing and standing consumption in licensed venues for public activities to 3 patrons per 4 square meters (75%) indoors as well as 100% capacity for outdoor public activities at licensed premises.
For 18 months straight now, entertainers, hospitality venues and event organisers have been restricted by capacity and public activity restrictions, even whilst the state has boasted zero community transmission. Although Premier Steven Marshall has continuously reiterated that South Australians are living under “the lowest level of restrictions in the nation”, this is actually not true, as other states and territories such as Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania, have had less restrictions placed on their residents, especially during times of zero community transmission.
The entertainment industry of South Australia is currently decimated, and on its knees - both mentally and financially. We’re crying out for the government to grant us fair and responsible management of, what is now, a dying industry, in a State that prophesies its place as ‘The Festival State’, and as a city that boasts its designation as a UNESCO City of Music. We'd like to see this support continue and materialise on a practical and economic level beyond government financial support making sure our performers and businesses can stand on their own feet by bringing dancing and standing consumption back to public activities. We acknowledge that the current SA Government has injected $3 million in financial support for the local music industry, but this is not nearly enough for us to survive, and is a trivial sum compared to what our interstate counterparts have recently received, for example NSW ($75 million), Victoria ($20 million), Western Australia ($15 million) and Queensland ($10 million).
We cannot survive without immediate relief. Immediate relief is vital for getting South Australia’s entertainment industry and entertainment venues back from the current brink of closure. We can’t wait months until the vaccination rollout is complete, we need action now as we come into our statistically busiest three months of the year from October to December. At the time of writing on October 1st, there has been zero community transmission cases in South Australia for 73 days and yet still, we are being unfairly penalised on a risk basis - a risk managed differently in other sectors. Licensed premises are already amongst the most controlled and policed environments in the state, with door staff and security ensuring check-in on arrival for accurate contact tracing. Ticketed events should be allowed to safely maximise their capacity, and could be subject to policy we have seen effectively imposed across the globe; proof of a recent negative test, or a proof of vaccination. The industry in South Australia is committed to providing safe events for the public.
With so many residents in the South Australian Entertainment Industry needlessly suffering both financially, and mentally, through loss of both work and entertainment avenues, the immediate solution is obvious, just LET US DANCE.
Your petitioners request that your Honourable House will urge the Government and the South Australian Transition Committee to immediately re-open dance floors so the South Australian hospitality and entertainment economy can survive this pandemic.