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Statement re: Federal Budget

Screen Producers Australia, Sydney, 14 May 2014: Matthew Deaner, Executive Director, Screen Producers Australia, said that while the industry had anticipated some reduction in Government funding to the sector, Screen Producers Australia is concerned at what seems a disproportionate cut to Screen Australia, including to a key area of industry innovation (multiplatform/games).

Further, Mr Deaner said, the Government must ensure the ABC, SBS and Screen Australia have a workable timetable to enact required efficiencies without compromising their ability to develop, fund and commission Australian screen content.

“The ABC, SBS and Screen Australia are essential partners to the independent production sector in Australia. Their investments trigger millions of dollars of local and international financing into productions which employ thousands of Australians,” he said

“We recognize the need for efficiencies, but they will take time to implement and we must sure that the search for efficiencies does not undermine core business.”

Mr Deaner said that more than 40 years of sustained Government support through direct funding, local content regulation, incentives and tax mechanisms has ensured a strong film and television industry, delivering cultural outcomes to Australian audiences and contributing more than $3 billion annually in production expenditure to the Australian economy.

Mr Deaner noted that the Government had not followed the recommendations of the Commission of Audit, which were clearly in conflict with current policy discussions.

“As expected the Government has taken a more level headed approach in this budget. Screen producers look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with the Government. We will continue to discuss the most appropriate levers of support, with particular emphasis on the producer offset, to further drive investment and innovation in our industry and we call on the Federal Government to reaffirm its ongoing commitment to the creation of quality film and television by a dynamic Australian independent production sector.”

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