January 10, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

While event organisers in New South Wales are still waiting for details of the promised Event Saver Fund – and nearly every other state waits for any kind of safety net – the fine print for Victoria’s state government-backed insurance scheme for the events industry was released in December, dismaying some in the industry for the exclusions it unexpectedly threw up.

The fact sheet on the scheme reveals that many corporate events are excluded – “private commercial or business events such as retreats, planning days, Annual General Meetings or staff gatherings” are not covered – and local government authorities are also not eligible for the cancellation insurance.

The scheme also doesn’t cover the loss of essential event talent due to COVID-19 or accompanying isolation.

According to a statement from Save Victorian Events, the grassroots organisation that has spent much of the pandemic campaigning for COVID-19 cancellation insurance, the exclusions were not anticipated.

“There was no suggestion at all during the limited consultation about this insurance that a very large proportion of business events would not be eligible for the insurance.  It makes no sense as the purpose of the scheme is to get events, and the event industry, back happening again.

“It is great that Victoria is leading on the issue of COVID cancel event insurance, but there is a lot of work that urgently needs to be done to fix some of the basics so that the insurance will actually work for a lot of the event industry and – very importantly – so that it will be a viable insurance scheme for the longer term as we all know we will need to live with the risks of Covid for many years to come.”