Parliament win – the industry responds

After the new regulations were stripped of their dangerous clauses, the sector manages to stay sensible long enough to put out formal announcements. Here they are.
Pink bus in desert

Let’s just enjoy the temporary feeling of safety that comes from the modified Tax Act.

Here is SPA CEO Matthew Deaner:

‘This is a landmark day for the production sector. The passing of the laws will unlock rich new streams of financial support into the sector, and is the culmination of years of effort. It’s also an important day for Australian audiences, with the boost in the Offset an important part of securing the future of Australian stories on the small screen.’

The Australian Writers’ Guild:

AWG President Shane Brennan said, ‘We have reached this outcome after years of campaigning. The AWG has been at the forefront of this push, working with SPA, ADG and MEAA as part of the Make it Australian coalition, attending countless meetings, roundtable discussions and a Senate hearing. We have visited Parliament House on numerous occasions to talk with politicians and help get this legislation across the line. Thank you to every member who sent emails to MPs and Senators on these issues.’

‘As the industry recovers from the impact of COVID-19, it is pleasing to see this recognition of the importance of Australian screenwriting jobs. The passage of measures to increase the level of support for film and television production is so welcome to our members. These changes will encourage investment and result in more opportunities for AWG members in our sector, and our members should be proud of how hard they worked for this outcome,’ said AWG Executive Director Claire Pullen.

Read: Industry wins on screen legislation: how it happened

APRA AMCOS:

‘This is incredible news for the local screen sector and we applaud the Australian Government for ensuring the swift passage of the bill to increase the Producer Offset,’ said Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS Chief Executive.

‘The proposal to lift the threshold for rebates to $1 million and the removal of the Gallipoli clause would have been devastating for local screen composers who derive significant income from these productions.

‘There are hundreds of small screen industry businesses including screen composers that generate valuable intellectual property for the country. These creators and creative businesses must be fostered if we want Australia to be not just a global location for filming, but also the home to globally relevant screen stories,” Partos said.

The MEAA and the other Guilds used the collective announcement from the Make It Australian coalition.

Here is that announcement:

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 COVID19 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.

David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.