14 Apr 2021

Tiny Good, Howard Freeman, and Simon Thewlis testify in Victorian Parliament

At 10 am this morning, Tiny Good from ShowTech, Howard Freeman from CrewCare and Simon Thewlis from Save Victorian Events appeared as the first witnesses at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Support for the Tourism and Events Sectors. Simon outlined Save Victorian Events’ strategy for the future of Victoria’s Event Industry.

In emotional testimony, Howard, Tiny, and Simon outlined the devastation running through the industry, including the dire prediction of 40% of event businesses to close. Tiny choked back tears as he explained how he had to let 10 of his ‘family’ go. Howard railed against border closures, and explained the impossible logistics of lockdowns and quarantine. Simon cooly repeated what the industry needs – less red tape, better processes, and government support and acknowledgement.

Information about the Inquiry can be found here:


Victoria has long been viewed as Australia’s event state. Melbourne has traditionally been viewed as a global event capital. Events are integral to Victoria’s identity. Events make an extraordinary contribution to life in Victoria and touch the lives of most Victorians on a regular basis.

But Victoria’s Event Industry is in crisis – especially now JobKeeper has ended.

While events are starting to happen again in Victoria, it is still slow. Many Event Industry businesses and people will struggle to get through the quiet winter and still be there when events finally pick up again later in the year.

The Covid crisis has exposed some more fundamental issues in terms of the way the Victorian government – and governments generally – view events and the Event industry. The Victorian Government still doesn’t recognise the Event Industry as an industry, and it does not value the vast contribution that events make beyond tourism. The huge contribution that events make to communities, to the economy, to the positioning and promotion of Victoria, and as an export industry.

Save Victorian Events’ plan is very simple. And it starts with fixing the underlying problems.

1. For the Victorian Government to recognise the Event Industry as a real industry in its own right. And, as an important industry to Victoria, and to Victoria’s future.

2. For the Victorian Government to understand and value the many real contributions that events make to Victoria. And, the extraordinary skills, talents and resources of the event industry – as they should be getting used during this crisis.

3. For the Victorian Government to set up a dedicated government agency – Events Victoria – to support, develop and promote Victoria’s event industry. Including, as an export industry. An agency that has people who understand the event industry and are committed to working with us and supporting us.

4. For the Victorian Government to provide some real financial support for the event companies, event suppliers and the freelancers and contractors so they can survive until later in the year when events start picking up again properly.

5. For the Victoria Government to work with the Federal Government to underwrite Covid cancel insurance so that many events can start happening again.

The full strategy (attached) goes into vastly more detail.

Victoria’s event industry can have a great future.

Victoria’s 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 can remain Australia’s event state. And Melbourne can remain a global event capital.

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 real support and need it now!


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