Free TV expressed frustration at the Government’s announcement today to support foreign productions through a $400m location offset package.
Free TV CEO Bridget Fair said “Investment which supports our local production sector, cast and crews is always welcome but we are concerned that this package comes in isolation of the ongoing enquiries into local content, quotas and support for the domestic industry.
These international productions come here for many reasons, financial support being one part. But the important element of using our talented local cast and crew will be missed if we don’t have a strong, dynamic local industry where these people work day in and day out, honing their skills and ensuring they are match fit to step up to the international stage on bigger bolder productions. This in turn provides opportunities for younger people to get their first leg up on the local production ladder.
Free TV broadcasters are the source of more Australian production than anyone else in this country. We spend $1.6 billion on Australian production every year and deliver 25000 hours of Australian content into every local market. We are the engine room of the local production sector and yet remain saddled with an outdated framework that hasn’t been updated in almost 20 years.
We are in the middle of a major review of content quotas and production incentives, including the location offset, so it’s difficult to understand why the Government has made a one-off decision now about a single element of the mix right in the middle of this process. Free TV broadcasters and the broader production industry urgently need a timetable for the decisions from Government, so we have some certainty on when the much-needed reforms can be implemented.”
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