Sunday 1 March 2015

Martha Ansara's submission to the Federal Government inquiry into imported film participants

Film industry legend Martha Ansara has written to friends to circulate her views on the proposals being considered by a Federal Government inquiry into removing union vetting of applications for 420 visas (the visa required to work on a film).The major industry players have all lodged submissions and there has been significant support for the removal of the requirement for the Minister to consult with the union representing workers in the film industry before approving temporary visas. Free TV Australia, the Screen Producers Association, the government agency Ausfilm, Foxtel and the Australian Subscription Television Association have all advocated the abolition of the requirement to consult on visa applications for foreign cast and crew. Martha's submission relies on data she researched on Screen Australia's website at

Martha writes:

"I am concerned that this review may be an ideological one based on -- to quote from the introduction in the review's discussion paper -- the "government deregulation agenda" which it states thus: "The Australian Government is committed to reducing the burden and cost of unnecessary or inefficient regulation imposed on individuals, business and community organisations...."

"I believe that the adoption of inadequately researched deregulation measures is likely to have unintended consequences and that it will not be helpful if  submissions merely assert positions without sufficient evidence (which I suspect is likely). Similarly, my own submission should be regarded as tentative. it is compromised by my lack of time and resources to marshal or analyse the evidence which I feel is required to support my views.  Having said this, the examination I did make of statistics from Screen Australia's research section was extremely provocative. "

 Martha's submission has been posted online here at the Film Alert website.


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