Big boost for screen sector

Australia’s screen sector today warmly welcomed the passage through Parliament of measures to increase the level of support for screen content provided through vital tax incentives.

That is the message from the ‘Make it Australian’ coalition, supported by the Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG), the Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG), the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) and Screen Producers Australia (SPA).

The Parliament today passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 5) Bill 2021, which includes the much-anticipated increase in the Producer Offset for television productions from 20% to 30%.

In welcome news, the Parliament also passed a series of amendments, moved by the ALP and supported by the Greens and others, and ultimately the Government, to protect access to the Producer and Post, Digital and Visual Effects Offsets. Changes which would have restricted access to the tax offsets for some in the industry were ultimately rejected by the Parliament.

“The Parliament’s actions today mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter for small screen production, and will boost the amount and quality of Australian content reaching Australian audiences on the small screen,” said Alaric McAusland, Executive Director of the ADG.

“This crucial measure will provide an incentive for more screen production and more job opportunities for performers and crew,” said Paul Murphy, Chief Executive of the MEAA. “Members of Parliament from across the spectrum have worked hard to make these changes a reality and the final support of the Morrison Government was critical to getting them over the line.”

“We appreciate that the Parliament was able to secure passage of this measure, and unite behind crucial amendments, to end a period of uncertainty for many in the sector,” said Matthew Deaner, CEO of SPA.

The Make it Australian campaign was formed in 2017 to take a message to Government about the future of Australian content and storytelling. One of the key platforms of the campaign since its inception has been the critical need for competitive tax incentives, including this increase to the Producer Offset for television.

“This welcome increase in support is the culmination of years of work and campaigning across the sector, and will boost investment and jobs at a critical time in the industry’s recovery from COVID-19 interruptions,” said Claire Pullen, Executive Director of the AWG.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Government on the other central part of the Make it Australian platform, the need for new Australian content safeguards for booming digital streaming platforms,” said Deaner.

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