The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:21): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question on the topic of vaccination requirements and the arts and festivals to the Treasurer representing the Premier as Minister for Arts and Tourism.
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: We have seen some major venues in Adelaide introduce a voluntary requirement for people to be double-vaxxed; however, this requirement doesn't yet exist for major events, such as the Adelaide Festival and the Adelaide Fringe, and with festival season coming this is a pressing matter. For example, the Adelaide Festival is a statutory authority and therefore needs a directive from SA Health to bring in compulsory double-vaccination rules, which is what other arts events, such as WOMADelaide, have been able to do without that legislative barrier.
Venues and artists across the state are struggling to navigate the uncertainty and differences between venues and organisers when it comes to the requirements for audiences to be vaccinated. Some venues, for example, require everyone to be fully vaccinated, but others don't. Further, a requirement to be double-vaxxed, as we have seen in Europe, does not mean that people can't attend these events, only that they simply have to provide a negative COVID test or of course evidence of a medical exemption.
However, without being able to ensure people are double-vaxxed, major events, such as the Adelaide Festival, can only sell tickets up to 75 per cent capacity. Venues can only sell tickets up to 100 per cent capacity if everyone is fully vaccinated. After struggling for so long, the South Australian arts community deserves to be able to sell out—to be able to sell tickets for 100 per cent capacity in their upcoming events—and they certainly deserve the certainty.
My question to the minister is: will the Marshall Liberal government work with the arts industry, in particular with the Adelaide Festival and the Adelaide Fringe, to provide clear guidance on vaccination requirements and the support they need to have these festivals sell tickets to 100 per cent capacity so that our arts sector can finally recover from almost two years of pain?
The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (Treasurer) (15:23): I am happy to refer the honourable member's question to the Premier and bring back a reply, but I am sure even the Hon. Ms Franks would acknowledge that there is no bigger supporter of the arts community and the importance of the arts community than our Premier. He is an arts aficionado and a very strong supporter of the—
The PRESIDENT: Order!
The Hon. R.I. LUCAS: —arts community in South Australia and has done much to support them to manage and to cope with the challenges of the COVID pandemic. So the Hon. Ms Franks can rest assured that whatever can be done safely by the Premier will be done.
The only other broad comment I would make, noting statements that the Premier has made, but also that the police commissioner and the Chief Public Health Officer have made, is that when our state reaches the next threshold, which is 90 per cent double-vaccination, there is an active contemplation of a further easing of restrictions in South Australia. I did see in the weekly media the police commissioner, I think, indicating that, in his view anyway, dancing might be allowed in some establishments when we reach 90 per cent double-vaccination rates.
Clearly, there is to be some easing of restrictions when we reach 90 per cent. The estimation of when that occurs, as I understand it, the best guess is sometime toward the end of the year, possibly early next year. So, certainly on that basis, well before Mad March or the festive season of February and March. I do acknowledge that pre-selling tickets for some of these events is an important aspect of their work, so the earlier advice the better. I am sure the Premier is aware of that and I will certainly ensure that the Premier addresses the question and provides some sort of response.