Labor Leader Anthony Albanese celebrates on Saturday. (Image: Facebook).

Screen Producers Australia (SPA) has welcomed the weekend’s election result while emphasising the importance of creating opportunities and certainty for the country’s screen sector going forward.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese was able to claim victory on Saturday night as significant swings toward independent candidates and the Greens ended the Liberal’s nine-year reign.

It is not yet known if Labor will be able to form a majority government, but the party does hold narrow leads in seats still being counted.

With many heralding the outcome as a statement from the public about issues such as climate change, SPA CEO Matthew Deaner said the election of a Labor government would also bring a “new energy” to the creative industries

“Australia’s screen sector is ready for a plan for sustainable growth and regulatory certainty that values and champions our culture and creativity,” he said.

“SPA thanks outgoing Minister Paul Fletcher for important measures to support the industry through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic such as increased offset funding, insurance backing, and programs to build our gaming industry.

“Former Minister Fletcher has been a champion of bringing international productions to Australia. This has been good for some, but the industry needs a better balance and strategy to foster Australian creative talent and skills and build intellectual property and the small businesses that operate in our sector and export our Australian brand and stories.”

It comes after Deaner called out the treatment of the creative economy during the campaign, noting in an op-ed published two weeks ago that “nowhere in the competing Federal Election rhetoric around who’s got the best plan for the future Australian economy do our creative industries rate much of a mention”.

A week later, then Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke unveiled a cultural policy that he believed would bring new “drive, direction and vision” to the arts sector, promising to arts’ as part of a named government department, as well increase cooperation between federal, state, and local levels of government when it came to arts and culture.

Despite this, there were no specific plans on key issues, such as the regulation of SVOD services, with the party only promising to will work with stakeholders to determine ways Australian content can be boosted on streaming platforms.

SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

SPA, along with other sections of the screen industry, has long advocated for a 20 per cent Australian commissioned content expenditure requirement to be applied to global streaming businesses.

Deaner said creating an “ongoing, certain, and robust regulatory framework” for the streaming platforms remained SPA’s first priority.

“Australians expect and deserve more high-quality Australian content on their screens,” he said.

“It is critical that an incoming government create opportunities and certainty for our sector in both good and bad times now and into the future to ensure there is stability for our industry and more Australian content on Australian screens. 

“We have been alarmed at the rapid decline in various types of Australian stories on our screens since regulation to protect children’s, drama and documentary programs on free-to-air channels was downgraded.

“The flow-on effects across the screen sector have been highly detrimental to the production ecosystem. A government that values creativity will address this deficit.”

Deaner said SPA would also press for action on issues, including addressing unfair negotiations between SME producers and global streaming businesses and others, bettering intellectual property capture and commercialization, and regulation and reporting on key data. 

The organisation is also pushing for regulation to ensure the “advancement and support” of First Nation’s storytelling. In its arts policy, Labor said it would put First Nations art and culture at the centre of our approach to the sector.

“SPA looks forward to working with a new Labor Cabinet and, as we anticipate, new Ministers Michelle Rowland MP and Tony Burke MP to deliver on a new vision and commitment to the creative sector and we congratulate them on their success,” Deaner said.

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1 Comment

  1. Hopefully the new Arts Minister reviews the content quota, which is so out of date, especially on Streaming & the ‘offsets’ ridiculous ‘wide’ add on.

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