Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
The Victorian Parliament has passed the Filming Approval
The purpose of the Bill is to cut red tape from the highly
complex process for obtaining commercial filming permits and to
create a clear legal framework for commercial filming on public
land managed by local and State governmental bodies.
The Hon Louise Asher MP released a statement on the Bill
"The screen industry is highly competitive,
deadline driven and cost sensitive. The ease of doing business is a
key consideration for a footloose production finalising is project
To achieve its task, the Bill sets out eight "film friendly
principles" that are designed to harmonise the permit approval
policies, processes, timeframes, fees and documentation across
Victoria's various governmental bodies.
Film friendly principles
A public agency that receives an application for a film permit
must not unreasonably withhold the approval of that application,
consideration of public amenity, safety and security;
environmental and heritage impacts;
the operational requirements and commercial agreements of a
public agency; and
the maintenance of land or facilities.
A public agency must approve or refuse permits in a timely
manner and take reasonable steps to respond to an applicant within
five business days.
Reasons for refusal
A public agency that refuses to approve an application for a
film permit must give reasons to the applicant for the refusal.
Point of contact
A public agency must take reasonable steps to provide a single
point of contact to deal with commercial filming on public land.
This principle does not prevent a public agency from processing
applications for various matters related to commercial filming in
different parts of the agency.
A public agency must ensure that any application forms and other
documents required by the public agency to consider an application
for a film permit are consistent with any standard forms or
documents issued by Film
Where a public agency has power to charge fees for film permits
(or applications), the agency must not set fees above cost recovery
unless specifically authorised under another Act. The public agency
must also take the broader economic benefits that commercial
filming brings to the community into consideration when setting
fees that are not otherwise prescribed.
A public agency that has the power to issue film permits must
publish information about how a person may apply for a film permit
on its website, or on a website approved by Film Victoria. Film
Victoria may also request a public agency to publish any other
relevant information regarding these principles, or to publish
information on a website other than the agency's website.
A public agency must take reasonable steps to ensure that staff
responsible for considering and issuing film permits are given
appropriate information regarding the film industry.
The principles are scheduled to come into operation on 1 March
2015 and will apply to public agencies including local councils.
Film Victoria is working with public agencies to develop resources
to help frontline staff understand and apply the new
This publication does not deal with every important topic or
change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute
for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's
specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of
interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice
relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named
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