The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, has invited the Australian film industry and the public to comment on two important pieces of legislation supporting Australia’s film and television industry. The two draft bills will create a new screen agency, Screen Australia, and establish the National Film and Sound Archive as a separate statutory authority.
‘Legislation which I propose to bring before the Parliament very soon will establish Screen Australia as the primary body for direct funding to our film industry. It will also provide a higher profile for the National Film and Sound Archive as it continues to develop and maintain its outstanding collection and deliver public access and outreach programs,’ Mr Garrett said.
‘I want Screen Australia to be established and structured in a way that will make it easier for the skilled professionals working in our film and television industry to attract the support they need.
‘I’ve sought public comment on these two Exposure Bills to ensure these important changes are in line with what the public and industry need.’
The new Screen Australia, which will commence work on 1 July, will have a strong cultural focus as well as supporting development of a sustainable Australian screen industry by strengthening screen businesses. It will bring together the main functions of the Australian Film Commission, the Film Finance Corporation Australia and Film Australia Limited. The new agency will continue the work of these three agencies, such as supporting productions of national significance and public interest and providing practitioner and industry development, access programs and promotional activities. Under consequential legislation, Screen Australia will administer the new Producer Offset.
Public comment on the draft legislative provisions is sought by 15 February 2008.