Industry workers meet over NSW budget cuts to screen sector

Industry workers meet over NSW budget cuts to screen sector

Hundreds of screen workers held a mass meeting in Sydney yesterday following funding cuts in the NSW Budget.

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance called the mass meeting at Disney Studios over the loss of the Made in NSW program and the Post-production, Digital and Visual Effects Rebate.

“Yesterday’s Budget confirmed that the cuts will go ahead despite warnings from the screen industry that they imperil thousands of jobs and small businesses in an industry that is already experiencing a slowdown,” said MEAA Chief Executive Erin Madeley.

“The explanation given – that the cuts were already made by the previous government before the March state election – does not wash with our members. Regardless of when the decision was made, the result will be the same: NSW will find it harder to attract film and television production.

“While the government has subsequently said it will support endangered productions, the funding gap remains.

“The job is now ahead of the State Government to lay out a cultural policy that includes a credible and sustainable plan for the screen industry.

“MEAA is also concerned that there is no cohesive screen policy across the states which has resulted in damaging competition for film and television projects.”

An estimated 85 projects and 300,000 jobs are at risk following the defunding of two state programs.

MEAA will be encouraging producers and screen guilds to push for a reversal of cuts.

The first step is an online campaign to email NSW MPs about screen industry policy.