Kiama comedic performer and festival organiser Dave Evans welcomed this week's announcement of an arts rescue package amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"My immediate reaction was 'fantastic, at last they've finally recognised there's a whole lot of performers out there that can't do anything'," he said.
"First people to be locked down, last people to be un-locked down.
"But then there was a slow realisation that actually, although it sounds like a lot of money, in the grand scheme of things it's not a lot of money, and I don't really know how far it's going to go."
Australia's leading arts organisations have praised the federal government's $250 million rescue package.
The JobMaker plan includes $75 million in grants for new festivals, concerts, tours and events once social distancing eases, and $35 million in cash for major arts and culture organisations.
The government will also guarantee $90 million worth of loans to the sector.
However, Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance chief executive Paul Murphy said it ignores thousands of arts workers who have been without work for months.
"While the $250 million in grants and low-interest loans is welcome after months of inaction, it could be some months before money flows and productions can recommence," he said. "In the interim, JobKeeper needs to be extended to the many thousands of creative workers currently excluded from it.
"The grants and loans will help arts organisations begin to recover from the coronavirus shutdown, but there is absolutely no relief for freelance and casual workers who have lost their jobs and suffered significant reductions in income."
Each year, Kiama residents/performers Evans and Tamara Campbell present the K.I.S.S. Arts Festival.
Evans said he wanted to look at the rescue package in greater detail.
"I think it's good that we're on the radar, I just hope that isn't it," he said. "Our industry has propped up so many other things, like tourism."
Gerringong musician Lincoln Piper owns a live music booking agency, production and stage management business, LP Entertainment.
He books acts in pubs, clubs and other venues in the Illawarra and South Coast.
Piper said he hadn't studied the fine print of the announcement, and whether "it's really helping everyone, or just certain people in the industry, like the big guys".
"I really feel that the little guys are really going to struggle through this," he said.
"I was very hopeful in the beginning, but I realised quickly that it's going to take a good few years (for the industry) to recover, especially for the band scene.
"I started a new outdoor lawns and property maintenance business immediately; I just knew I couldn't sit around and wait. I had to get out there and get something else going."
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.