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Ex-Cricket Australia boss leads revival of live events across the country

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Former Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland is leading the resurrection of the live events and entertainment industries decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Sutherland is heading up the newly established Live Entertainment Industry Forum to “open the gates” to live events such as sporting matches and concerts in Australia’s biggest stadiums.

The forum sets out a path to COVID-19 safe protocols and an “all industry” strategy for revival.

He told Ray Hadley it was a remarkable union.

“The whole industry has been decimated since the middle of March,” he said.

“When there’s no shows, there’s no work.

“It’s a sign of the difficult times that everyone is finding themselves in.

“They are ready to go – they feel desperate times call for desperate measures [and] they are working together enthusiastically to try and find a way through to open the gates.”

He said there were promising signs in New Zealand, where the government is considering fully opening sports stadiums.

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Arts Minister Paul Fletcher told Deborah Knight the entertainment sector was certainly hit very hard.

But he said there were some important considerations in his discussions within the industry.

“If you are putting on a big show, that’s a very big expensive undertaking,” he said.

“One of the issues is that it’s not really feasible to operate on a social distanced basis.

“It doesn’t really work, they’ve been clear in telling me, to not sell every seat in the house.

“Everything we do here will be driven by the public health advice.”

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