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NTIA CEO Questions True Value of Covid Inquiry to Taxpayers without Industry Representation

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, has made a statement on the ongoing COVID Inquiry:

“The current COVID inquiry must ensure that it includes representation from the hospitality and cultural sectors to truly address the questions and issues that people are seeking answers to. Without a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by businesses in these sectors, the inquiry risks falling short of providing meaningful insights. Omitting representation from the nightlife and cultural industries would not only undermine the credibility of the investigation but also render it a futile exercise, ultimately wasting taxpayers’ money.

“It is surreal to witness the celebration of initiatives like ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ as saviours of the industry and job creators when, in reality, they failed to encompass the diverse landscape of businesses within our sector. The scheme’s narrow scope marginalised wet-led establishments and late-night venues, offering disproportionate support and leaving many businesses unsupported. The lack of consideration for scalability in the financial models used during the program has resulted in a broad-brush approach, burdening numerous businesses with debts that will linger for years to come.

“For a comprehensive and effective inquiry, it is imperative to include voices from all sectors affected by the pandemic, ensuring a nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by businesses in the hospitality and cultural realms. Failure to do so not only risks perpetuating misconceptions but also compromises the inquiry’s ability to deliver the answers and solutions our industry urgently needs.”