Government lays out terms of reference for content review

The government has released the terms of reference for its review into Australian and children’s screen content. 

The content review was announced earlier this month as part of the government's broader media reform package. 

The government has stated the review’s objective is to provide policy options to government on the most effective support mechanisms for the local production sector. This is with the aim of ensuring the ongoing availability of Australian screen content, regardless of platform. 

To be specifically reviewed are the mechanisms that support Australian drama, documentary and children’s content.

Also under the microscope is the Australian Screen Production Incentive, or the tax offsets. These include the Producer Offset, Location Offset and PDV Offset, which, according to the government, were designed to “suit pre-2007 industry models.”

"In a globally connected, on-demand world, Australian stories need to be told and heard by Australians, in particular our children, and across the world. A viable domestic screen production sector is essential if audiences are to have access to quality Australian content," state the terms of reference.

"Changes in audience consumption habits, the introduction of new distribution platforms and increasing competitive pressure on Australian content producers and distributors mean that the existing models of regulation and support for Australian and children’s content need to be revisited."

The review will be jointly conducted by the Department for Commmunications and the Arts, ACMA and Screen Australia, who will consult with industry throughout the process. 

The scope of the review will also include: 

• the economic and social value of Australian screen content to the Australian community; 

• the current and likely future market for Australian screen content production and distribution; 

• whether the Australian Government’s current policy settings: 

o are relevant to current industry practice;

o appropriately target content that requires intervention; 

o ensure an approach that works across a diversity of platforms; 

o promote a sustainable production and distribution sector; and 

o are able to support Australian content on any platform into the future.

Regulations on local content for regional TV and radio are outside the scope of the review.

The government has said there will be opportunities for stakeholders to make submissions to the review, and that they are keen to hear from members of the public as well as sector professionals including writers, producers, administrators, distributors and investors.

Minister for Communications and the Arts Mitch Fifield has said the existing House of Reps inquiry into the growth and sustainability of film and television is a complementary process and its submissions will also contribute to the review.

Consulations will commence in June, and it is expected that policy options will provided to government by the end of the year. 

You can email the review team at

View the terms of reference in full here here.