Border rules set to wreak havoc on TV

New border rules will create nightmares for television production on the East Coast.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced anyone coming from Victoria will be put in mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days, at their own expense. The new laws will come into effect from 12.01am on Friday.

Queensland will also close its border to all of New South Wales and the ACT from 1:00am on Saturday. Queenslanders who return after travelling there will be sent to mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense. Victorians are already banned.

Television production on the East Coast sees personnel -talent, production and network staff- normally travelling interstate on a daily basis for drama, light entertainment, light entertainment, news and current affairs, sport and more.

Osher Gunsberg is currently in Melbourne for The Masked Singer which continues records until August 22. But production is also due to begin in NSW on The Bachelorette. 10 exec Stephen Tate recently noted there would be some tricky juggling, but that was before a mandatory 14 week hotel stay. The show also has judges, stylists, Warner Bros production staff (and presumably masked talent) who are NSW based.

But that’s just one example.

Q&A has filmed in both Melbourne & Sydney recently. Wentworth, now filming in Melbourne includes Sydney-based talent and staff. ABC is waiting to fire up Harrow in Brisbane. 10 wants to restart The Amazing Race across statelines (looking doubtful). Seven hopes to kick off Holey Moley production, probably in Brisbane, with SAS Australia in NSW.

On almost all of the bigger shows there are invariably personnel from interstate.

Free TV Australia recently wrote to the government requesting explicit permission for journalists and production staff to travel over state borders but was not seeking exemptions to quarantine rules.

Update: Harrow has now resumed production in Brisbane.

Source: ABC


  1. This is the perfect opportunity for new journalists and crew to get experience and exposure. We see enough of the same talking heads on all the networks as it is

  2. Television isn’t essential and honestly given the absolute rubbish being produced in this country, a forced production break might be a good thing.

    We don’t need to keep hearing about COVID-19 anyone with a brain knows we’re screwed.

    Tv will be a thing of the past soon, turn on Netflix or something

  3. Today has had both Tim & Lauren based in Queensland. David do you know if they are based there full time as Tim is usually based in Sydney & Lauren in Melbourne

  4. None of this is anything close to essential and a drop in the ocean compared to the number of people in other industries and Melbourne who have lost their jobs or been stood down.

    • News and current affairs is definitely essential, reader poll concurs. At the moment essential is relevant to Vic production. NSW and Qld have no such rules aside from safety and social distancing, but these impact regardless.

      • None of the shows you listed are news and Q and A is just biased rubbish that could easily be done remotely or paused for a while (or forever). And your reader polls would have a definite bias away from the views of the general public like all website polls and based on election results, polls in general.

        • Then what would you expect networks to play during prime time now then…just more news? Or repeats?

          As it’s the same people who are complaining about show’s having to continue filming who are getting angry about networks programming repeat content or falling back on “rubbish” shows.

          Entertainment is important, especially for people who are currently quarantined or isolating. Shows which are not being produced result in even more jobs being lost, with an even greater impact for the future as programs won’t be running.

          • It’s more important to stop the virus at this stage. News shouldn’t need anyone travel. If the show participants are in Melbourne and need to go to Sydney then they need to go into 14 days isolation like everyone else. There has been enough exemptions for celebrities. This should not stop the show filming but may require a bit of innovative thought by the producers

    • Rodger Corser just did his 14 days after coming back from Melbourne. I follow him on Instagram. He said he had been to Melbourne for work. Actors know the drill and get on board.

      And Wentworth might not be essential but to those in Victoria we are thankful S8 is airing right now.

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