Premier welcomes screen industry support

The Premier has welcomed the federal government’s announcement of additional support for the screen industry through the Location Incentive Fund, calling on the Prime Minister to make sure Queensland gets its fair share.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said along with Queensland’s health response to the global pandemic, our strong economic recovery plan and that Queensland is already a popular location for productions – this will mean the state will be an attractive option for international film productions.

“This is a billion-dollar industry for our state, supporting nearly 10,000 jobs and while it’s been hit hard by the global pandemic, we’re in the box seat to get it back up and running again,” the Premier said.

“Right now, due to the measures we have set in place and the amazing efforts of Queenslanders, I am proud to say that Queensland is one of the safest places to film not just in Australia, but in the world.”

The Premier said she’s been been calling for more federal assistance in this space for years.

“I’m glad the federal government has finally responded,” she said.

“Queensland can now attract more international feature films and high end television series into our state, creating more jobs for Queenslanders including a flow-on effect for the wider community including tourism and accommodation, catering and hospitality, transport, construction industries and many more.

“Governments must ensure they remain competitive in a global context by ensuring their location-based incentives are comparable to international jurisdictions.

“And until recently, Australia had one of the lowest Location Offsets globally, making it less competitive in the attraction of international and high-end television series.

“In fact, we’ve lost a number of productions because of the Federal Government’s failure to increase the incentive earlier and Queensland had to provide extra funding to make sure Dora was filmed here because the federal funding fell short.”

The Premier said her government was proud to support the screen industry and because of this, pre-pandemic had seen an unprecedented boom in productions and jobs in the state.

“Through Screen Queensland, the Queensland Government has committed $85.7million under the Production Attraction Strategy,” she said.

“To date we have attracted 28 productions to the state.”

The Queensland Production Attraction Fund is used to top up the federal location incentive fund to attract film and high-end television productions to the State.

Queensland boasts two world-class production studios with Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast and Screen Queensland Studios in Brisbane.

“These facilities are the first and third biggest studios in the nation which means that the State will continue to benefit from this funding increase to entice large scale attractions into Queensland,” the Premier said.

“The movie Aquaman and television series Reef Break have benefited from this forward investment in the past and the forthcoming Baz Luhrmann Elvis movie has also been a beneficiary of the fund.”

The Premier said Queensland’s economic recovery plan is all about jobs and our screen industry had already restarted in the state.

“Filming is already under way in Cairns for the feature film This Little Love of Mine, which will inject $1.5 million into the local economy and provide 25 jobs to local film practitioners, as well as highlight the wonderful beaches and landscapes in Far North Queensland,” she said.

“Cameras are also rolling again on the Gold Coast for season two of the children’s television series The Bureau of Magical Things, injecting a further $8.5 million and 200 jobs into the Queensland economy.

“Filming on the ABC crime series Harrow season three is soon set to recommence and inject $15 million and an extra 120 jobs into the local economy.

“I am also delighted that production will kick off again soon on the Gold Coast for Baz Luhrmann’s much anticipated Elvis film, produced by Warner Bros., which will bring investment of around $105 million and create up to 900 local jobs.

“All this has been possible because we have worked all through the current crisis to keep our screen industry active.

“By re-allocating $3.3 million in Screen Queensland funding we have supported Queensland screen practitioners across film, TV and games; to develop industry skills and business resilience; help film festivals pivot to online platforms; and support writers to generate ideas and scripts. “

Background:

In 2018 the federal government announced a $170 million Location Incentive fund which attracted many productions to our shores.

This new announcement extends that fund by $400 million for another four years.

The Premier has been calling for a 30% harmonisation of the location offset for the past five years to streamline the application process and provide a more transparent procedure.

This was outlined as a strategy in the 2019 Advance Queensland Screen Industry 10-year roadmap and action plan to encourage the production of international blockbuster films in Queensland, supporting local jobs and growing the economy, and building Queensland’s profile through industry events.

Queensland’s diverse natural landscapes, including a mix of desert, agricultural land, tropical rainforest, secluded beaches, small towns and sophisticated urban environments mean that filmmakers have an array of choice for filming locations, all within the same state. As well our world-class talent pool makes Queensland a natural destination for international productions.

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