Tasmanian Government launches Island Screen Incentive

Queenstown on Tasmania's west coast.

The Tasmanian Government has unveiled a new $1 million incentive to lure more high-profile production to the state.

Announced as part of the government’s 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future, the Island Screen Incentive offers financial support at a rate of 10 per cent of production expenditure up to $500,000 on Tasmanian goods and services, to be administered as a grant from Screen Tasmania.

To be eligible, productions must be live-action, either scripted or factual, and have at least $1.5 million of Tasmanian expenditure while being substantially based within the state.

According to the criteria, the applicant and production must also “display a demonstrated commitment to training Tasmanian screen practitioners, such as by providing placements for entry-level crews, or by promoting Tasmanian crew to a higher level than they have otherwise worked”.

Tasmanian Arts Minister Madeleine Ogilvie made the announcement on the weekend while visiting the set of Archipelago Productions and Fremantle Australia’s Bay of Fires, the second season of which is filming in Hobart and on the West Coast.

It comes after season one, filmed across Queenstown, Zeehan, and Strahan on Tasmania’s West Coast, received $1.5 million in support from the Tasmanian Government, through Screen Tasmania, with season two set to receive a total of $1.7 million, including a $200,000 grant to secure training opportunities for emerging Tasmanian filmmakers.

Behind the scenes on ‘Bay of Fires’ (Image: Brook Rushton)

Earlier this year, the state welcomed Netflix’s Jane Harper adaptation The Survivors, produced by Matchbox Pictures and Tony Ayres Productions, which reportedly created 110 roles for Tasmanian cast and crew and an estimated 720 extras. The series is now completing post-production in Victoria.

Ogilvie said 2024 was expected to be a record year for screen production in Tasmania.

“Productions like [Bay of Fires] align with our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future by creating jobs for our local crews and keep our talent working in the state, and we’re delighted that Bay of Fires will again be employing more than 100 Tasmanian cast and crew, along with many extras,” she said.

Screen Tasmania executive manager Alex Sangston told IF the incentive would set the state up for its next stage of development, having experienced growth throughout the past eight years.

“This program will deliver employment for our crews, creatives and actors, and investment in service providers around the state, all while sharing Tasmanian stories around the world,” he said.

Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner welcomed the introduction of the incentive, applauding Screen Tasmania on its “proactiveness in encouraging productions to the state to both continue to build the local industry while enabling producers to work with the wealth of local stories and talent”.

Applications for the Island Incentive open early next month and will be available, along with eligibility criteria, through the Screen Tasmania website.