$140 million top-up for Australian film industry

It is hoped major international film studios will be lured to shoot more films on Australian soil following the Government's announcement of changes to the Location Offset Incentive.

The rate of the Location Offset will be effectively increased from 16.5 per cent to 30 per cent for eligible large budget productions commencing principal photography in Australia from 1 July 2018, with the top up available at $35 million per year over a period of four years from 2019/20.

The Government predicts the new funding will generate more than 3,000 jobs within the Australian film industry and support around 6,000 Australian businesses each year.

Details on the mechanics of the scheme are yet to be released, but it is expected that it will include the capacity to approve and release funding quickly so Australian studios can promptly respond to attract large-scale productions.

It is hoped the change will provide greater certainty for the Australian film and television sector that has repeatedly requested a permanent lift to the location offset to make filming in Australia internationally competitive. Territories like New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom have all been successful in utilising big budget productions to inject significant foreign investment into their economies.

While this is welcome news for Australian studios and crew, it is estimated this funding boost will, in practice, only be able to attract two major productions (of the scale of Aquaman) each year.

The funding boost is a positive step for the Australian film industry, but concerns remain surrounding funding of local Australian productions amidst the radically changing landscape of Australian film, television and streaming services.

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