$400m package to stimulate overseas film industry in Australia criticised

"Why is the government more committed to supporting Hollywood?"

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a $400 million package to stimulate overseas productions to be filmed in Australia over the next three years.

Though the stimulus package is estimated to generate $3 billion in foreign spending, Shadow Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke has questioned why this sum has been allocated for international industry delegates when only $50million has been granted to the industry at home.

“What we don’t understand is this: why is the government more committed to supporting Hollywood than it is to supporting Australia’s own creative community?” Mr. Burke said.

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“Not only has the government offered inadequate support for the sector – it’s actually added to the pain and uncertainty by suspending local content quotas for new drama, documentary and children’s shows. And the government has refused to commit to bringing them back when the crisis is over.”

Matthew Deaner, CEO of Screen Producers Australia, said the funding would target Hollywood productions filming in Australia, but the budget would only accommodate 20 per cent of the local industry.

“It’s great to have Thor and Pirates of the Caribbean and those productions shooting here, it’s wonderful, but they don’t sell Australia.”

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young echoed the sentiment, saying, “Today’s announcement from the Government is a welcome acknowledgment that our arts and entertainment sector is vital to Australia’s economy, but this needs to extend to supporting Australians working here in Australia, on Australian films and shows, telling Australian stories.”

The announcement comes just a few weeks after the Federal Government announced a $250 million arts relief package, intended to be spread out through a series of grants and loans into a struggling arts sector.

Two days ago, two weeks after the announcement, Mr. Burke criticised the government’s plan, stating that “artists and entertainers still have no idea how to access the funds”.

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