Parliamentary inquiry into Victorian events gets underway

The first hearing kicked off with one witness saying people in the events industry 'deserve much better than this'.

Events industry professionals and business owners have this week given evidence on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, as part of a Victorian parliamentary inquiry.

The inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism and events sectors began on Wednesday 14 April, with the Legislative Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee hearing from three event industry representatives.

Simon Thewlis from Save Victorian Events, Show Tech Australia director Tiny Good and CrewCare founding director Howard Freeman were the first to present evidence.

In his opening address, Thewlis said unless there is “massive change”, including better financial support and recognition for the events industry, many people and businesses won’t survive.

“We will lose a lot of Victoria’s event capability and a large number of great people and businesses. Things we can’t get back again,” he said.

“Victoria’s event industry can have a great future. Our event industry can continue to make a huge contribution to life in Victoria.

“And, coming through a pandemic, events have never been more needed and more valuable.

“Victoria’s event industry is a vast number of people and businesses who have worked their whole lives and put everything into creating great events.

“People who have made an extraordinary contribution to Victoria.

“They deserve much better than this.”

View the full hearing below:

The committee also heard from Gab Robinson, CEO of Harry the Hirer, Rocky Bruzzano, chief financial officer at Exponet, and Felicia Mariani, CEO of the Victoria Tourism Industry Council, among others.

Following the hearings, the committee will provide recommendations to the State Government by 30 June on the best way to restore the tourism and events sectors.

Public submissions to the parliamentary inquiry into tourism and events are still open and are due by Friday 16 April 2021. Find out more here.

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