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Recommendations for reforms to the film and television industry announced

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THE House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts today presented its report on the Australian film and television industry. The committee has made 13 recommendations to ensure the future growth and sustainability of this sector.

The key recommendations are:

  • a single harmonised producer offset of 30% for all Australian screen productions which is a 50% increase in the current rebate for television programs and non-cinematic features;
  • an increase in the location offset from 16.5% to 30% to ensure that Australia can effectively compete for large-scale international productions;
  • that subscription video on demand companies invest part of their revenue earned in Australia in new Australian content;
  • that children’s content quotas be reformed in light of current viewing trends but continue to require quality Australian programs for children to be available across all platforms, particularly live-action drama;
  • that the Government consider replacing all or part of the current hours-based quotas for new children’s content with a contestable fund to create quality Australian children’s programs into the future;
  • that a minimum hours-based quota for first release children’s content be included in the ABC charter and that SBS show a minimum of 50% Australian content across all of its channels;
  • that 10% of Screen Australia’s funding be earmarked for productions filmed outside of the Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas;
  • that the Government remove the unnecessary red-tape obligation to consult the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance before permitting a foreign actor to work in Australia.

The Chair of the committee, Luke Howarth MP, said, "Australia’s film and television industry makes very important cultural and economic contributions to the nation. These proposed reforms will greatly enhance the growth and sustainability of this industry into the future.

"Technological advances have significantly changed the way Australians now access their screen content and the policy settings need to be updated to reflect this," added Mr Howarth.

The report can be accessed from the Committee’s website

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