When gatherings of 500 people or more were banned in Australia were banned due to the coronavirus pandemic, the arts and entertainment industry was the first sector to be hit.

It has been devastated by shutdowns and many artists, freelancers and contractors are now in the lurch – and unfortunately, they aren’t eligible for the government’s historical JobKeeper scheme.

A petition is now circulating that is asking the House of Representatives to extend the JobKeeper payment out to these workers. There is also calls for a tailored and properly targeted relief package after what the petition describes as ‘years of cuts and neglect’ to funding for the industry.

“We need large and small companies and venues to still exist following the crisis so they can continue to employ Australian artists,” the petition description reads.

“Australian artists are the keepers of Australian stories. They give so much to our country and to the Australian identity – we cannot do without them.”

If you would like to sign the petition, go here.