Screen production incentives must be raised in Federal Budget
The extreme measures taken by the Palaszczuk Government to secure a new feature film for Queensland are further evidence of the need to increase the screen industry location offset to 30% in this year’s Federal Budget.
The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance welcomes the announcement that Danger Close will be filmed in Nerang and Kingaroy this year, bringing much-needed employment for about 120 crew and 30 cast.
But the international horizon is empty as Australia is struggling to compete with other countries to secure offshore investment.
Australia’s location offset of 16.5% is one of the lowest in the world, with many other countries now offering incentives of between 20% and 40% to producers.
This has been recognised by both the Palaszczuk Government and a bipartisan Parliamentary inquiry into the sustainability of our film and television industry.
“We are grateful to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for travelling to Hollywood to personally negotiate this feature, but the reality is that Australia is missing out on productions because the business case is not stacking up for studios,” said Michelle Rae, MEAA regional director for Queensland.
“Queensland is a desirable location for the world screen industry because it’s safe, and because of our talented actors and crew and great locations, but in an increasingly competitive marketplace, screen producers need to weigh that up against the bottom line.
“We are already seeing production talent heading overseas because of lack of opportunities here.”
The location offset, currently at 16.5%, is internationally uncompetitive and is contributing to a drought of offshore film production in Australia.
Federal governments have provided ad hoc top-ups since 2012 to keep the industry going.
At least two large-scale international films have applied for ‘top-ups’ to the incentive and have been turned down – forcing them to go elsewhere.
MEAA is calling for the Turnbull government to permanently increase the offset to 30% in the May Budget.
Media contact: Michelle Rae, MEAA Queensland regional director – ph 0411 757 669; email firstname.lastname@example.org