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NSW government announce fund for events cancelled or disrupted by COVID-19

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean (pictured front) said the fund would help businesses who have been affected by the Omicron wave. Photo: Facebook/Matt Kean MP.

By TOKS OGUNDARE

Organisers of major events and festivals disrupted by COVID-19 will be able to apply for up to $10 million in funding after the NSW government released details of a support package earlier today.

Dubbed the “Event Saver Fund”, the $43 million scheme aims to support events and festivals impacted by the Omicron surge. The fund will allow organisers of disrupted major events that were scheduled between 15 December 2021 and 31 December 2022 to “pay suppliers, staff and recovery other costs”. 

In a press conference, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the initiative was in recognition of the impact of events on tourism and the broader state economy.

“Festivals and major events are huge drawcards and they have been significantly disrupted by the latest Omicron wave of COVID-19,” said Mr Kean.

Several major festivals in NSW have been cancelled or postponed since the new year due to the Omicron outbreak, including the highly-anticipated King Street Carnival, which was due to take over Newtown from January 14-16. A new date for the event has yet to be announced.

The announcement comes on the heels of controversial footage of Hillsong youth camp attendees dancing and singing, which sparked outrage over the religious exemption to public health orders and prompted Chippendale’s Lord Gladstone Hotel to announce its tongue in cheek transformation to a church for one day, on January 23.

The state government’s Event Saver Fund was first announced in October last year, but with few other details available at the time.

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