NSW Arts Minister John Graham has announced the reinstatement of funding for the Made in NSW program and the Post, Digital and Visual Effects Rebate following an industry outcry.
Funding cuts, worth about $60 million, were made by the previous government prior to the state election in March, but were included in last week’s Budget.
The restoration of funding will ensure thousands of jobs and small businesses remain in the state, says the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance.
MEAA Chief Executive Erin Madeley said, “The State Government has listened to the concerns of screen workers about these cuts and their impact on the industry, and it has acted quickly to guarantee continued funding.
“This will ensure that NSW remains a major destination for film and television production. We look forward to working together with government to develop a sustainable screen policy for the state.
“The screen industry is an important part of NSW’s cultural and economic identity. It generates hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and supports thousands of skilled jobs and small businesses.
“The Made in NSW program and the PDV Rebate are both essential parts of the state’s screen architecture as incentives for productions to be made in the state and we are delighted that they will be restored.
“This decision by the government is the result of action taken by MEAA members and their families, along with all other industry stakeholders including small businesses and production companies over the past week. Close to 200 union members attended a mass meeting in Sydney the day after the Budget where they agreed to launch a campaign to restore the funding.
“Well over 1000 people have taken action by contacting their local MPs and key government ministers, including the Premier and the Treasurer, in the past few days.
“Congratulations to everyone who has been involved for this result.
“Importantly, this now puts us in a good space to work with the government in developing a strategy for the state’s screen industry as part of its new cultural policy.”
“This announcement is a huge relief to the screen industry, and we thank the Minister for his robust and deep engagement with SPA and the industry over the past few weeks and the opportunity to present the risk and harm that was being done to our sector,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.
“While there will be some work to do to fully restore NSW’s standing, we appreciate that the Government has listened carefully and responded accordingly.
“I also welcomed the unity shown across the different elements of our industry to work together to address this situation.
“Screen is a significant and growing industry sector, which generates economic activity, employment, skills training and reinforces our cultural identity in a myriad of ways.
“Going forward, the industry is optimistic that we can advance the NSW sector on a positive footing and ensure that our creative industries here take their rightful place in the national and international economic and industry landscapes.
“In today’s meeting with the Minister, we had the opportunity to canvas several positive steps that could help to secure and grow the state’s screen industry including working with the Federal Government and industry to develop a Screen Export Strategy, the need for additional infrastructure, programs for skills development and training and the generation of a ‘Screen Hub’ for the sector and for the NSW public.
“In addition, many submissions to the State’s Arts, Culture & Creative Industries Policy including SPA’s have highlighted the need for Screen NSW to be an autonomous agency with the resources needed to support and grow the industry. Unlike many other states, this is currently not the case, to the detriment of the NSW industry,” said Mr Deaner.
This post updates.