2020-09-29 16:52:10 #MakeItAustralian #MEAACrew #MEAAECS #MEAAEquity MediaRoom Releases

Up to 15,000 jobs are at risk if the federal government adopts recommendations from commercial television lobbyists. We could see a landscape limited to Home and Away on Seven, Neighbours on Ten and second-hand dramas from New Zealand on Nine, laying waste to the rest of our local television drama production sector and the thousands of jobs it generates.

But with the right calls, the government can help us unlock the potential of our industry to create thousands of jobs and support the rebuilding of Australia’s economy – that is the message to the federal government from the Australian screen industry as it launches the next stage of the Make it Australian campaign tomorrow.

The Make it Australian campaign brings together the Australian Directors’ Guild, Australian Writers’ Guild, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and Screen Producers Australia, with the support of other screen industry guilds.

Four key policy proposals that would enable Australia’s world-class screen industry to contribute to the economic recovery will be highlighted at a virtual campaign launch today.

“Australia faces generational challenges to get people back to work and rebuild businesses, and Australia’s world-leading screen industry is ready, with the right government settings, to do this and more,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

Tomorrow’s event will hear from industry leaders including Hoodlum Chief Content Office Tracey Vieira and writer-director Mithila Gupta about the proven ability of screen production to initiate employment multipliers across the Australian economy. Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell will also talk about the importance of reinstating content quotas to support small screen production businesses emerge from the recession.

“For every famous face or household name there are thousands of people behind the scenes of the Australian screen industry whose crafts and skillsets cover the full range of enterprise and innovation, creative endeavours, technical mastery and logistical problem solving – building sets, stitching costumes, crunching numbers, feeding multitudes, and keeping everyone safe,” said MEAA Chief Executive Paul Murphy.

“Ours is an industry that’s ready to go, which stands to make a unique contribution to Australia’s future economy and provide sustainable employment for many thousands of Australians. Our ability to do this, and to keep telling the distinctive stories that Australians love, is dependent on forward-thinking and sustainable Government decision-making,” said Samantha Lang, ADG President.

“Australian screenwriters create the stories that our world-renowned industry is built on. Our sector contributes over $5bn in value-add to the Australian economy, while lifting our national spirit, captivating international audiences and enriching lives through storytelling,” said AWG CEO Jacqueline Elaine.

The event will issue a direct message to the Prime Minister, which calls for:

• Return of regulation for commercial broadcast and subscription television to provide certainty to the 2021 production market, and to safeguard the 15,000 jobs at risk from the current suspension of the rules;
• Considered transition to a new platform-neutral set of rules which ensures that Australians see Australian stories on all the platforms they are using (eg, Netflix, Amazon, Stan);
• Modernised, competitive tax offsets to incentivise private investment;
• Well-funded public broadcasters and screen agencies.

The screen industry is ready to get back to work and contribute to the economic recovery. But government policies are holding us back.