The Department of Communications and the Arts, Screen Australia and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have released a consultation paper inviting industry input towards the Australian and Children’s Screen Content Review.
The review, announced by Communications and Arts Minister Mitch Fifield in May, aims to come up with sustainable policies to ensure ongoing availability and production of local content. It was borne from a recognition that existing regulation and incentives, including the Australian Screen Production Incentive (i.e. the offsets), were designed in a pre-digital era.
Senator Fifield has indicated the review will be informed by the existing House of Reps inquiry into the growth and sustainability of Australian film and television, which recently held public hearings in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Katoomba.
The review forms part of government’s broader media reform package, and is being jointly conducted by a taskforce made up of the department, Screen Australia and ACMA.
The taskforce’s consultation paper, released yesterday, outlines its key policy objectives, summarised as:
- Securing quality content that promotes Australian identity and culture
- Securing quality Australian content for children
- Driving more sustainable Australian content industries
The paper has proposed that solutions to these policy objectives should, as far as possible, be market-driven, and that government interventions need to be transparent, flexible and platform agnostic.
The sector has been asked to respond to eight key questions:
- Are the policy objectives and design principles articulated in the discussion paper appropriate?
- What Australian content types or formats is the market likely to deliver and/or fail to deliver in the absence of government support?
- What types of Australian screen content should be supported by Australian Government incentives and/or regulation?
- The current system of support for screen content involves quotas, minimum expenditure requirements, tax incentives and funding. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current system? What reforms would you suggest?
- What types and level of Australian Government support or regulation is appropriate for the different types of content and why?
- What factors constrain or encourage access by Australians and international audiences to Australian content? What evidence supports your answer?
- What would the Government need to consider in transitioning to new policy settings?
- Is there anything else that you would like the government to consider that has not been addressed in your responses already?
Read the consultation paper here.
The consultation period ends September 21.