WA Government promises $100 million studio and $20 million production attraction fund

'The Heights', shot at ABC Studios Perth.

Ahead of the state election in March, the Western Australian government has committed to launch a $20 million production attraction fund and to develop a $100 million studio and sound stage in Fremantle.

The announcement has been hailed as a “game-changer” by Screenwest, who has long advocated for both.

If re-elected, the McGowan Government will oversee investment in the development of a studio complex located in Fremantle’s Victoria Quay.

The proposed facility would service screen production, games, and immersive technologies across the local screen industry, as well as interstate and international productions in WA.

Screenwest worked with the state government after it announced a market-led tender process for the facility late last year to ensure the studio’s development would meet the needs of the WA screen industry.

In the long-term, the studio is expected to support approximately 2,800 film production and precinct hospitality jobs each year.

Saturday’s announcement of the infrastructure development and accompanying production attraction investment comes less than a month after Screenwest released its Strategic Plan for 2021-2024, in which it identified a set target of increasing production investment to $150 million in WA annually by 2024.

The contribution adds to the state government’s existing $16 million investment into the Western Australian Screen Fund (previously named the Western Australian Regional Film Fund, or WARFF), the PDV incentive, and the ongoing support of the Screen Industry from Lotterywest through Screenwest.

Screenwest board chair John Driscoll says the commitment gives WA a competitive edge nationally and internationally to attract incoming productions while ensuring its local homegrown stories don’t leave the state.

“Screenwest has long been advocating for additional government support for Production Attraction and for the development of a studio in WA and we welcome today’s commitment,” he said.

According to Screenwest, screen investment in Western Australia hit over $51 million in 2019-20, doubling the size of the Western Australian screen industry over the past three years, with a strong flow of production originating in and coming into the state.