Government to amend Producer Offset, ‘Home and Away’ now eligible

From left are James Stewart, Ada Nicodemou, Arts Minister Tony Burke, Angelina Thomson, Ray Meagher and Georgie Parker.

The Federal Government has announced it will alter the threshold for the TV Producer Offset, meaning serials like Home and Away will now be able to qualify for the 30 per cent rebate.

As part of the amendment, a drama series that spends at least $35 million per season in qualifying Australian production expenditure (QAPE) will be eligible. Presently a drama series must spend at least $500,000 per hour in QAPE to receive the offset.

The new per season threshold will apply to drama series that commence filming on or after 1 July 2024.

According to Screen Australia’s latest drama report, the average cost per hour for series/serials in 2022/23 was $500,000, up from $300,000 in previous three reporting periods to reach a five-year average of $400,000.

Arts Minister Tony Burke said the changes would help industry professionals secure ongoing work and promote “telling uniquely Australian stories”.

“We want to see more Australian stories shown on screen,” he said.

“Backing in Australian drama is essential to that. This change will help to support more iconic Australian stories being told and shared by the people who know them best.”

In welcoming the news, Seven has announced the establishment of a new internship program for Home and Away, while revealing plans to film the series in more locations, including regional Australia.

The internship program will cover the production departments of the series, which heads into its 37th season next year.

Seven West Media managing director and CEO James Warburton commended Arts Minister Tony Burke for recognising the “vital role” Home and Away plays in the Australian television sector.

Home and Away is a remarkable show and has been an integral part of many Australians’ lives for almost four decades,” he said.

“Access to the Producer Offset will enable us to increase Home and Away’s domestic and international appeal, ensure it remains competitive as an Australian drama, and reinforce the significant contribution it makes to the Australian TV industry and Australian culture.”

Seven chief content officer for entertainment programming Angus Ross said the network would seek to strengthen Home and Away‘s future on the back of the tax change.

“Our new investment in Home and Away, made possible by the government’s decision will enable it to tell even more great Australian stories and create a new pathway for people who want to be part of that sector,” he said.

“More location filming will help ensure Home and Away maintains its globally acclaimed production values and will create new work for the Australian production sector.”