State of Disaster: Stage 4 rules for shows “in production”

Shows that had not yet resumed production could be in for a long wait in Victoria.

Victoria’s new Stage 4 rules allow for Television production to proceed -but only for shows that are already underway.

The government has been fine tuning its rules since they were announced on Monday.

As at 5 August, 11:59pm, Permitted Work Premises include:
Feature film, television and documentary (excluding television commercials, student and corporate productions) that is already in physical production and operating as a closed set and post-production relating to it is a Permitted Work Premises and remains open on the condition that a COVID-Safe plan is in place.

Caroline Pitcher CEO, Film Victoria, said in a statement, “We understand these restrictions will impact on many projects and screen businesses. These measures reflect the declaration of a State of Disaster in Victoria and are part of a comprehensive effort to reduce movement across our city and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).”

While The Masked Singer, Neighbours, Wentworth, Have You Been Paying Attention?, Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell, News Breakfast, Insiders, Junior MasterChef can continue there are others that are looking to resume production:

  • Gogglebox for both Foxtel and 10. Whilst filming can resume with its NSW cast, it includes several Victorian cast members. Update: Foxtel advises this is on track to resume.
  • Hot Seat was planning to resume in coming weeks for Nine.
  • Jack Irish yet to be formally announced by ABC.
  • New Gold Mountain is also due to film in Victoria, although Regional Victoria is in Stage 3 not Stage 4.
  • Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries was recently announced for Seven /Acorn TV although without production dates.

Below provides a summary of the latest advice for projects and businesses in metropolitan Melbourne.

Permitted Work Premises
Employers at Permitted Work Premises are only permitted to have employees on-site if it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to work from home and the employer and employee comply with the Directions currently in force, including the Workplace Directions and the Permitted Worker Permit Scheme Directions. Visit the Department of Health and Human Services for further information.

Workplace Directions
Victoria’s Workplace Directions set out a number of measures that must be taken at Permitted Workplaces including measures related to face coverings, the implementation of a COVID Safe plan, record keeping, cleaning and more. See the full Workplace Directions here.

Creating a COVID Safe Plan
Under the latest Workplace Directions, Permitted workplaces have until 11:59pm on Friday 7 August to implement their COVID Safe plan. Guidance, FAQs and a template for a COVID Safe plan is available via the Business Victoria website – https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/covid-safe-business/covid-safe-plan

The Australian Screen Production Industry COVID Safe Guidelines have also been developed to provide specific guidance to the Australian screen industry that may help with your COVID Safe plan. NB: The Victorian Government’s Workplace Directions take precedence.

Permitted Worker Scheme
Under Victoria’s latest Workplace Directions, from 11:59pm on 5 August, employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility. For information on the Permitted Worker Scheme and to download the permit, visit https://www.vic.gov.au/worker-permit-scheme

Business Support
Grants are available through the Victorian Government’s Business Support Fund – Expansion for Victorian businesses in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria that have been impacted by the latest restrictions. For more information on what is available visit Business Victoria.

This post updates.

8 Responses

  1. It’s good news that Goggleboxers in Melbourne will be able to take part in the new season despite the stage 4 lockdown, but the filming method may have to change to comply. I think households could film their own reactions with own cameras or smartphones while watching programs, and upload the footage on to a cloud to be retrieved by the producers in Sydney.

        1. Same. I just recently bought with online auction. While ut benefitted us, I reckon it would be anti climatic for TV… Then again Bachelor is going all Zoom.

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