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Get vaxxed to save SA events industry, staff told

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The head of the State Government’s event-management company has told staff they need to get vaccinated “as soon as you get the opportunity”, warning “venues are going to have to demonstrate that their staff are fully vaccinated” to lure major clients.

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Adelaide Venue Management Corporation CEO Anthony Kirchner has used successive all-staff bulletins to reinforce the importance of the vaccination uptake to both the wider community and the events sector specifically.

“We’re all going to need to be vaccinated if AVM is to achieve its full potential,” he told staff this week.

He said in the context of “winning new business”, it was “becoming increasingly evident that venues are going to have to demonstrate that their staff are fully vaccinated against COVID in the not-too distant future”.

“Just last week one of the nation’s biggest concert promoters came out stating that they will soon be requiring that venues provide proof or guarantees that their staff have been vaccinated or tested negative to the virus,” Kirchner wrote.

Two of America’s biggest events companies, AEG and Live Nation, have recently announced the introduction of a vaccination or negative testing policy for its audience and artists.

Kirchner suggested the precedent would have a dramatic impact on the events industry.

“Similarly, major convention clients have started to ask about AVM staff vaccination rates and policies when making Adelaide Convention Centre booking enquiries,” he noted.

In addition to the Convention Centre, AVM operates the Government-owned Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Coopers Stadium.

In a separate staff bulletin, Kirchner said he had “received two phone calls from Event Staff members who were downright angry and frustrated about the refusal of many not to get vaccinated against COVID”.

“Both advised that they had been to ATMs to withdraw cash to purchase essentials, but had nothing in their bank accounts,” he said.

“Their strong message to me [was] ‘don’t these anti-vaxxers understand that many people can’t put food on the table unless we all get vaccinated’.

“Both calls were heartbreaking and served to reinforce the need for us all to get vaccinated as soon as we get the opportunity to ensure our workmates can get their lives back on track.

“There are lots of people hurting.”

Kirchner told InDaily he was referring to vaccination rates in the broader community, insisting AVM was able to undertake event work “as per normal”.

However, he added: “To be clear, we won’t get back to anywhere near our pre-COVID level of events until we achieve high levels of vaccination in Australia.”

He said the staff updates were “encouraging” staff to take up vaccinations when available, but that “I don’t expect we’ll be in a position to mandate” COVID jabs.

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