ASE put a number of questions to Austrade regarding the BEGP – we thank them for their response. One important question still remaining (because it was outside Austrade’s remit) is “who designed the program in the first place and who in industry was consulted?”
Framework and objectives
Who designed the BEGP framework before it was announced and handed to Austrade to develop, implement and manage?
Questions over the design remain a matter for Government
Who (or what department) can provide details of what consultation took place with the Business Events sector to develop the framework?
Austrade consulted with relevant industry bodies during this process.
Has the objective of the scheme been met? Did it increase confidence in the sector? Did it address the national needs? How has this been assessed?
An evaluation will be conducted at the conclusion of the program.
The assessment and rollout
We know that a three-person expert panel advised on which events should be approved. Given the panel would not be familiar with all the shows how did they decide which shows qualified? Were they the sole arbiters or did they have an advisory/support team?
The panel provided advice to the Business Events Grants Delegate when requested. The Industry Advisory Panel consisted of:
- Ms Sandra Chipchase, former CEO of Destination NSW and the Melbourne Convention Bureau (Panel Chair)
- Ms Penny Lion, former Executive General Manager, Events, Tourism Australia
- Dr Leo Jago, (OAM) Director of Tourism and Business Events International.
We can find guidelines for grant applicants online; however can you provide the guidelines for event approval that the advisory panel worked to?
Event Eligibility Criteria is attached in PDF form
What then was the approval process for the individual grant applications?
This information is available in the program guidelines
Some exhibitors claim they re-applied multiple times and were eventually successful, why did this happen?
Applicants were advised of the outcome of their applications as decisions were made. If the application period was still open, there was nothing preventing an applicant from reapplying and addressing the area they were ineligible for previously. Event owners were offered opportunities to be re-assessed once they became eligible to re-apply.
How many of the approved business events received no benefit via successful grantees?
This information is not publicly available.
Can you supply a breakdown of which destinations benefited from the scheme – both in terms of number of events and grants received.
All grants awarded are posted on Grant Connect
Editor’s note: Individual grants can be viewed on Grant Connect but it is not possible to get a breakdown of grants by event or location.
We understand that applications totalled $80m but only $56m qualified. Assuming those who did not qualify were applying to attend approved events what were the reasons that a third of applicants did not qualify?
The program guidelines outline eligibility requirements.
Cancelled events and refunds
According to edition 28 of the schedule released on 25th January – 53 approved events have so far been cancelled or went virtual. How many grantees of those cancelled events will need to pay back money and how does the recovery process work?
Where an event is cancelled or moved to virtual delivery, Grantees can use grant funds to cover eligible non-refundable costs. Once these have been claimed, the grantees are required to repay remaining funding.
If the grantee has multiple events as part of their grant agreement, they may be eligible to use the funds from the cancelled event/s at other events at the decision of the delegate.
The guidelines contain the relevant information regarding funding requirements.
Once a grant is acquitted is it determined if any funds need to be repaid, this can occur up until the program closes in July 2023.
How much of the allocated $56 million has since been returned?
This is information is not published.
Can you confirm that the grant monies that are returned will go into consolidated revenue and will not be reinvested into the recovery of the business events sector?
This is a matter for government.
Will every grantee be audited?
The program guidelines contain the relevant information about any audit process.