Cloncurry will be home to the next season of Australian Survivor, due to screen later in 2021.
But if Queensland is home to further season in 2022 nobody is prepared to comment just yet….
This week the federal government announced $3.9m funding under the Location Incentive Program for the Endemol Shine Australia series.
The Location Incentive is available for “footloose productions,” defined as those that would not be expected to film in Australia in the absence of funding support. Filming in coming months, the production is expected to inject more than $29 million into regional Australia.
A show the size of Australian Survivor also entails significant set-up costs. Previous seasons in Fiji (the first for ESA was in Samoa) employs some 300 locals and attracts a government incentive.
Host Jonathan LaPaglia last year said, “Not only do we have Australians that we transport over to Fiji, but we also have an equal amount of local hire on transportation, construction. catering, security. They’re involved in everything.”
Moving to Australia those labour costs send budgets high -but costs can be amortised through a strategy of back to back seasons.
In order to access the Location Offset, production companies must meet requirements and obtain approval from Minister for the Arts, Paul Fletcher. There is also a Qualifying Australian Production Expenditure of $15m budget and at least $1 million per hour. There are rules around how many seasons are eligible for the incentive. Each season of a series is treated as a different ‘film’ under the Location Offset and requires a separate application.
After it eclipsed 65 episodes, Wentworth received funding under the same scheme by cleverly filming 2 x 10 episodes effectively as one block (hence Season 8 Part A 2020 / Part B 2021).
Endemol Shine Australia would only confirm Season 6 for Australian Survivor in Queensland, declining to comment further.
In a statement announcing the series CEO, Peter Newman said, “We are delighted to be bringing Survivor home onto Australian soil with the help of the Australian Government’s Location Incentive Program. We look forward to working with the local community of Cloncurry to bring their unique and stunning landscape to Australian and international audiences. This is an exciting new chapter for the Australian format.”
He added, “Importantly, the production acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land, the Mitakoodi People, and are consulting with the local Aboriginal community to gain a deeper understanding of the country on which the series will be filmed.”