Missed opportunity: “Screen NSW lacks autonomy, is buried deep in a bureaucracy”

Missed opportunity: “Screen NSW lacks autonomy, is buried deep in a bureaucracy”

Screen Producers Australia have responded to the release of Creative Communities, the new NSW arts and culture and creative industry policy, as ‘a missed opportunity’ for the state’s screen industry.

It follows an industry campaign and hundreds of screen workers at a mass meeting in September fearing job losses following the defunding of two state programs. The NSW government later reversed cuts to Made in NSW, Post Production funds.

“The number one key priority for the screen industry is for the state’s screen agency, Screen NSW, to be properly resourced and returned to its former structure, enabling it to work efficiently and effectively with the screen industry to maximise the benefits of the sector for the NSW economy and public. Unlike every comparable screen agency, Screen NSW lacks autonomy, is buried deep in a bureaucracy, and cannot respond nimbly and effectively to the opportunities around it. This is deeply frustrating for practitioners,” said Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner.

“Therefore, the failure to address this concern properly in this policy is a major disappointment for the sector, given the very recent and only just averted disaster of ill-advised changes that nearly brought the NSW industry screen industry to a standstill – damaging the state’s reputation and the broader Australian industry in its wake.

“On a more positive note, the prospect of a business case for a second major film studio is a welcome announcement. However, the funding commitment towards this initiative would have provided more certainty. It’s an easy, no-brainer, and we need the funding assured so we don’t have to wait for years to see it delivered.

“SPA recognise that the release of Creative Communities is the first step in putting the sector on a stronger footing and is an important framework for future policy development and funding.

“SPA will continue to engage positively with the NSW Government on dealing with the issues that are holding back the screen industry so that we can best work together to achieve a stronger future for our industry and the NSW public.”