The Federal Budget has made cuts to its Arts funding that will find savings of $13 million through “efficiencies” to arts and cultural programs run by Screen Australia, the Australia Council and the Attorney-General’s department.
Matthew Deaner, CEO of Screen Producers Australia, said of the cuts,“Our concerns about disproportionate cuts to Screen Australia 12 months ago are amplified following this year’s Budget announcement.
“To compound $38m in cuts with a further $3.6m over the coming four years will seriously impact the screen industry. This further cut of almost $1 million per year is both significant and major. Screen Australia’s investment in feature film, drama and documentaries is critical to supporting the small businesses in our sector and the content they create for Australian and global audiences.
“These cuts are likely to come out of project investment following the existing operational efficiencies that have been implemented. As a result there will certainly be less investment in diversity. The Government must act to balance these cuts by immediately increasing the producer offset for television, with guarantees that will ensure this benefit remains with the small businesses that make up the independent production sector.”
The government also confirmed imposing GST to digital downloads such as Netflix and Microsoft from July 2017.
Netflix has said it will comply with all applicable laws and regulations, but it isn’t clear if it will absorb the extra costs.