SPA calls for $1 billion screen content fund

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Screen Producers Australia (SPA) has called on the government to implement a $1 billion screen content fund.

With many the screen industry facing unemployment or loss of income, the aim of the fund would be to help local production to return as soon as possible. SPA has suggested the fund would help to top up existing tax offsets, assist with the insurance risk, assist those who have fallen through the cracks of government support, and supplement Screen Australia.

Further, in keeping with its longstanding push, the organisation has called for the immediate extension of content obligations on SVOD services, to “help share the load”.

“Our industry is ‘shovel ready’ but it is only direct and timely action along these lines which will ensure that we are able to get back on our feet and restart the production of quality Australian content for our nation’s entertainment and education and to capitalise on export opportunities,” said SPA CEO Matt Deaner.

“We also need the government to respond in a considered fashion to calls for quota relief for commercial and subscription broadcasters. Some temporary flexibility may be warranted; however, wholesale cuts will cripple the ability of the content creation sector to bounce back from shutdowns and recommence supply of Australian stories.

“This package is critical not only for our economy and cultural recovery but also to protect our national sovereignty.”

Today SPA has also launched a partnership with the Australian Made Campaign, makers of the Australian Made logo.

“The Australian Made logo is the stamp of Aussie authenticity and we are delighted to partner with Australia’s screen producers,” said Australian Made Campaign CEO Ben Lazzaro.

“Now when Australians see this symbol in connection with movies, TV shows and other screen content, they can be sure they’re seeing authentic, homemade products underpinned by Aussie ingenuity.”

Deaner said: “At a time when many Australians are turning to screen content for entertainment and education, there is increasing value in being able to communicate the origin of our remarkable content and the Australian Made symbol is a brilliant way to cut through.”