A report released by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work has outlined in excruciating detail the devastating impact of the pandemic on Australia’s arts and entertainment sector, and has made a series of urgent policy recommendations to revitalise the industry and ensure its future.

The reportby Ben Eltham of Monash University and Alison Pennington, a senior economist at the Centre For Future Work, found that, using the broadest definition, 350,000 people were employed in the arts and culture industries prior to COVID. Once the pandemic struck, around 80,000 of these jobs were lost, and a staggering 53 percent of businesses in the sector had ceased operating at April 2020.

A major reason behind this is that so many of these jobs were casual, freelance, or contract to contract – what the report categorises as ‘precarious employment’. In February 2021, around 45 percent of all employees in arts and recreation services were working in casual roles without any paid leave entitlements or superannuation, and only 19 percent of professional artists in Australia (across all artforms)...