“This scheme does nothing to foster new ideas”

Not everybody is enthused about news of a $400m Location Incentive booster.

Not everybody has been enthused about last week’s announcement of the $400m Location Incentive to lure Hollywood, and others, to Australia.

It has been a mixed reception from Free TV Australia, Seven Network and Screen Producers Australia, amongst others.

Producer Nick Murray, from CJZ, writing an opinion piece in The Age, also notes that it does little for the longevity of the local industry.

“The Morrison government is to be congratulated for its support of the film and television industry. Despite the perception, over the past three decades Liberal governments have always been more supportive of our industry than Labor governments. But here’s the rub: unlike every other industry, the government is subsidising foreign producers while local productions receive far less, indeed in most cases, no government support,” he wrote.

“It will be argued that having big US movies made here is good for local skills. However, I haven’t yet seen an example of international work practices helping a local show get made. What it does do is drive up the cost of production and instil wasteful habits in crews. At a time when we need to become more efficient, the flow-on effect of this scheme is inflationary for the local industry, which must attempt to compete for crew using our much lower budgets versus their cashed-up mega budgets. So an unintended consequence is that it becomes harder for local producers to hire Australian crews and technicians to work on Australian shows.

“The scheme helps technicians and carpenters get employed, and gives minor roles to actors – all worthwhile. But while this kind of stimulus creates jobs in the short term, these foreign-owned companies will happily relocate to the jurisdiction that offers the best deal. Meanwhile, ideas are the raw materials of our industry. This scheme does nothing to foster new ideas.”

CJZ has produced such titles as Gruen, Bondi Rescue, Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, Shaun Micallef’s On the Sauce, Murder in the Outback, The Checkout, House of Bond and others.

You can read more here.

2 Responses

  1. Nick is bang on the money with all his points here. He’s been a great spokesperson for the independent sector this year when those tasked with advocating policy change have been drowned out.

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