Sandgate Youth Festival

Ms WELLS (Lilley) (11:58): The north side of Brisbane and the broader Brisbane community are lucky to be home to a huge array of talented young local musicians. We've produced some massive groups like Ball Park Music and Cub Sport, from Stafford. We are home to some great up-and-coming artists like Mackenzie Grace, Dublin Rose and Tabitha Lee. Last Saturday the north side's best local artists hit the Einbunpin Lagoon stage for the Sandgate Youth Festival. Congratulations to Duck Egg Blue, who took out the top prize, and to Councillor Jared Cassidy and his tireless team for another successful community event. The past two years have been particularly tough for Aussie artists and event organisers, with COVID forcing a lot of local gigs to be cancelled. Many people watched six months work disappear in six seconds. Unfortunately, we have heard a lot of rhetoric from the Morrison government over the last two years about how COVID has impacted the workforce, but there has been little to no regard of how COVID has impacted the jobs of our artists, our entertainers and the people that support them.

The patchwork policies artists were presented with were slow, ill-designed and ill-fit for purpose. Many artists were excluded entirely from JobKeeper because of the transient nature of their work. Over 150 days after Labor first called for a real package that would actually help local artists, small artists, the Morrison government finally announced a suite of grants and loans programs. I know that many artists felt like an afterthought, and, for many, it was too little too late. Our artists and entertainers are the people who chronicle the Australian story. They deserve our thanks, our respect and our support.

As we head towards 80 per cent vaccination rates in Queensland and our lives start to get back to normal, I have two simple asks for northsiders. Firstly, please get vaccinated so that you can go to live shows and safely support our local artists. Secondly, once you're vaccinated, get on the group chat and start making plans. We have Harvest Rain in Stafford putting on some fantastic upcoming musicals and Artrageous in Sandgate with beautiful displays and exhibits, and, only three kilometres from Lilley's southern boundary at Kedron Brook, we have the Valley, with live gigs every weekend. Hopefully, soon, we will have live shows again at the Boondall Entertainment Centre, rather than it being a max vaccination hub. If you're keen for a night in rather than all of that, get on Netflix and watch Romance on the Menu, which was proudly made in our very own Shorncliffe. Whatever your preferred choice of entertainment, now is the time to celebrate our COVID recovery success and get back to supporting our vital local artists as they re-establish themselves in such an important industry. I thank the House.