Budget 2020-21: no major announcements for screen sector

Much of the Federal Budget points for the industry had already been announced.

The Federal Budget looks to have made no major announcements for the screen sector, following recent statements around funding to Screen Australia, AFTRS & ACTF.

ABC funding remains at 2018-19 levels until at least 2021-22, resulting in $41 million less funding per annum. This was previously announced.

Here is a summary of key points:

Supporting Australian content

Earlier this year, the Government announced a comprehensive package of measures to support Australian media businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as support for the screen sector.

The 2020-21 Budget includes a number of measures to support the continued development and production of quality Australian content.

The Government will provide an additional $33.0 million to Screen Australia which includes:

$30.0 million over two years to support Australian film and television drama, children’s and documentary productions.
$3.0 million over three years to establish a competitive grants program to cultivate quality Australian screenwriting and script development.
Funding of $20.2 million will also be provided to the Australian Children’s Television Foundation over two years to increase support for the development, production and distribution of quality Australian children’s screen content.

The Government will also standardise the Producer Offset, available to producers of television and film with significant Australian content, to 30 per cent regardless of the platform it is released on.

Regional Broadcasting

The Morrison Government recognises that access to free-to-air broadcasting for all Australians is critical, particularly for events such as COVID-19. Providing access is especially important for people living in regional and remote areas where there are digital television ‘black spots’.

To secure access to free-to-air broadcasts for our regional and remote communities, the Government has provided funding until 30 June 2024 to continue to deliver commercial free-to-air broadcasts through the Viewer Access Satellite Television service to viewers unable to access terrestrial services.

The Government’s sustained funding will safeguard this critical service, providing free-to-air television largely to regional and remote viewers who would not otherwise be able to receive digital television services.

Supporting Australia’s national cultural institutions

The Government is committing almost $22.9 million in 2020-21 to eight arts portfolio agencies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their operations. This funding includes:

$2.3 million for the Australian Film Television and Radio School;
$2.5 million for the National Film and Sound Archive;
$1.1 million for Screen Australia.

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