This audit would assess whether the award of funding under the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund was effective and consistent with the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines.

The RISE Fund was announced in June 2020 as a $75 million component of the COVID-19 Creative Economy JobMaker Package. It was expanded in March 2021 to be a $200 million program, as part of the COVID response package to support the arts and entertainment sector to reactivate. The program is intended to provide finance to assist in the presentation of cultural and creative projects, activities and events, and to rebuild confidence amongst investors, producers and consumers. This is to support employment of artists and workers in the arts and entertainment sector, as well as in connected industries such as hospitality, accommodation, transport, and freight. Grants are awarded via an open competitive process, with applications assessed and considered in batches until all funds are allocated.