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South Australia launches events advisory group as restrictions reintroduced

The newly formed South Australian Event Advisory Group will meet for the first time this week to help bolster the sector, as the region today (Monday) reintroduces a number of “significant restrictions” in response to a coronavirus cluster.

Nikki Govan of Business SA has been announced as the chair of the new “think tank” providing independent advice to the South Australian Tourism Commission, as well as boost engagement with industry operators.

The new advisory group includes representatives from the events, tourism, hospitality and business sectors, who will be working on building up the events and festivals calendar and driving visitation to South Australia.

Premier Steven Marshall said the group would help to “supercharge” the events offering in South Australia. He said: “We are committed to a world class events calendar throughout the year in South Australia, because we know that it supports jobs and the economy.

“This is all part of our strong plan to boost bed nights, create jobs and produce high quality and vibrant events for the people of South Australia.”

However, as the region gears up to bring visitors and fans back to the region, a spike in cases in Adelaide has led to Marshall announcing new restrictions this morning. They include the reinstatement of the social distancing rules of one person per four sqm in hospitality venues, as well as a capacity of 100 people in pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafés. The Premier has also banned vertical drinking indoors or outdoors, and urged people to reconsider “unnecessary travel”.

Meanwhile, Marshall also noted that the state is heavily investing in major events and conventions and has announced a tourism and hospitality sector support package to “help secure as many events as we can.”

It includes A$12m (£6.6m/€7.4m/$8.7m) over three years for a bid fund to help attract and secure new major leisure events and conventions to further drive future visitation and protect and create jobs in the sector. In addition, it will provide A$40m over four years to continue existing levels of funding available for events and conventions plus the reallocation of millions of dollars per annum from Adelaide 500 funding to these funds.

It also includes major sporting infrastructure funding, with A$44m going towards Memorial Drive Park and A$45m for Hindmarsh Stadium, which has already enabled South Australia to secure the Adelaide International for a decade.

This funding is in addition to payroll tax relief measures as well as small business A$10,000 cash grants for those still impacted by COVID-19.