Screen Producers Australia has welcomed comments this week from Senator George Brandis, Attorney General and Minister for the Arts, supporting an increase in the Australian Screen Production Incentives (offsets).
Speaking at Screen Producer Australia’s annual Screen Stories breakfast in Canberra yesterday, Senator Brandis said: “What I promised to do during the election campaign was to keep the levels of the offset under review. I know there is a great enthusiasm in the industry to see the levels of the offset made more generous and that is what I would like to see subject to the overall budget health.”
The Attorney General described the sector as “a healthy and well regarded industry that has been well supported by both sides of Government for half a century.”
The industry, is, he said, doing well across a range of genres although he suggested that it could and should be doing more to attract more large-scale international productions to Australia.
The Attorney General was joined by Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, and celebrated Australian producers Bob Campbell and Greg Haddrick from Screentime (creators of Underbelly and Cloudstreet) for a discussion about the state of the industry and the production process behind the new Screentime mini-series ANZAC Girls, which was screened last night at Parliament House.
Matthew Deaner, Executive Director of Screen Producers Australia, said: “We welcome the Attorney General’s enthusiasm for the screen sector and in particular his unequivocal support for an increase in the producer and location offsets.
“It should be noted, however, that Senator Brandis would not comment on the security of local content quotas for Australian television, although I am heartened that he indicated that our industry was highly regarded by Cabinet colleagues, including by the Treasurer Joe Hockey and Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull,” Mr Deaner said.
“With the effects of budget cuts to Screen Australia, the ABC and SBS to hit the industry in the coming months, Screen Producers Australia will continue to emphasise to Government the imperative of maintaining local content regulation, to provide certainty for production companies and ensure the Australian community continues to enjoy Australian content on our television screens.”