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Monday, 26 March 2018

The Make it Australian Campaign - A shout out from the Australian film industry

Director, activist and gadfly Martha Ansara has forwarded on this shout out received via the Australian Directors Guild

TAKE ONLY TWO MINUTES OF YOUR TIME TO ACT ON BEHALF OF OUR CULTURE AND TO SUPPORT AUSTRALIAN FILM PRODUCTION

SUPPORT THE MAKE IT AUSTRALIAN CAMPAIGN  here.

In a recent article in The Australian it was revealed that the government was planning to cut Australian content quotas that affect children’s content, drama and documentary. This is from the submission by the television networks who have clearly stated that they do not want any content obligations. The article is as follows:

"Last year Diary accused Communications Minister Mitch Fifield’s office of being a Bermuda Triangle when it came to actually doing anything about the multitude of reviews, reports and appointments it was tasked with acting on. Our list was long but the jab certainly shook away the stupor as news of the appointment of Bulent Hass Dellal to chair SBS leaked out that very day ― to Fairfax! Diary is certain things will move much more swiftly with the Australian and Children’s Screen Content ­ Review, which sailed into the Triangle in December. Diary expects the government will respond to it by offering to reduce the output-based quotas that govern how many hours of drama, children’s and preschool programs must screen on commercial free-to-air television. At the same time, tax offsets to fund local productions are expected to be increased and/or broadened. The theory being that the audience will demand more episodes of Offspring and The Wiggles anyway, and if networks and production companies can share in a bit of financial relief in making and buying them, then everyone’s a winner.” The Australian, Monday 19 March 2018.

The combined film industry organisations are asking you, if you have not already done so, to write to the Minister and your local member using the template provided at the Making It Australian website which is here.

Based on the assumption that the government would accept the televisions networks submission, SPA have run the numbers on what would happen with the quotas cut or reduced. In simple terms it would mean:

·       a reduction in drama hours of 40 per cent,
·       a reduction in budgets of $125 million, and
·       a loss of close to 3500 jobs.

This would be devastating to the industry and reduce the jobs for directors considerably. 

We know that the government is planning to announce these changes as part of the budget in May so we need everyone to get on board to help stop these cuts.


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