Changes to Screen Offsets Creates Renewed Urgency for Australian Content Reforms

Australian Screen Stories Kept Waiting While International Work Moves Forward

Australian Screen Stories Kept Waiting While International Work Moves Forward – In evidence given today to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into the Bill that will implement announced changes to Australia’s Location and Producer Offsets, Screen Producers Australia (SPA) CEO Matthew Deaner reiterated the urgency for the Australian Government to bring forward long-awaited legislation to regulate mostly global streaming platforms.

“The absence of any Government legislation for a commensurate regulation on mostly global streaming platforms to invest in some minimum levels of Australian screen stories risks exacerbating a trend in screen production in which international projects are growing while investment in our local screen storytelling is in decline,”

– said Matthew Deaner.

“SPA welcomes the majority of the measures in the Bill, particularly the new training obligations being attached to the Location Offset that will help contribute to training and skilling up our sector and the increase in the taxpayer rebate to 30%. 

“However, the same businesses that will receive the overall benefit from the changes to the Location Offset to shoot international productions in Australia are the subject of proposed streaming regulation to deliver local Australian stories.

“Getting the balance right between backing international projects and ensuring audience access to home-grown stories is critical for audiences to experience their own culture and for a sustainable and independent future for all our industry.

“We need to recognise that there is a critical interdependence between international work and having a robust Australian industry telling Australian stories. Local is where pretty much everything and everyone gets their start.

“International projects are attracted to film in Australia because of our reputation for quality crew, technical know-how, strong screen-friendly culture, and financial support. Without an independent Australian industry, eventually, our expertise will be hollowed out, making us increasingly less attractive to international projects.

“The one amendment we seek is to retain the threshold for access to the Location Offset at projects sized at $15m rather than $20m so that smaller independent international work has opportunities also to be supported here – which will invariably generate work for smaller local businesses who can use this service work to sustain themselves in between local commissions.

“However, by strengthening our support for international work, we cannot overlook the impact of this measure on our overall industry,” said Mr Deaner.

Link to a video recording of Matthew and Tracey’s evidence can be viewed HERE.

Link to Matthew Deaner’s opening statement HERE.

Media Release – SPA

Link to SPA HERE

Australian Screen Stories Kept Waiting While International Work Moves Forward

TV Central Screen Australia content HERE

Australian Screen Stories Kept Waiting While International Work Moves Forward

Australian Screen Stories Kept Waiting While International Work Moves Forward
Matthew Deaner (image – SPA)

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