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SPA pushes for streamer regulation ahead of changes to Oz production offsets

Screen Producers Australia (SPA) has called for action on streamer regulation as the local industry prepares for a raft of changes to Australian production incentives.

Matthew Deaner

Under a bill that is currently subject to a government inquiry, the tax rebate will increase to 30%, while new training obligations will be included in the Location Offset in a bid to increase industry contributions to training and upskilling the sector.

In evidence given by SPA today, the production industry welcomed most of the measures in the bill, including changing the qualification for the Producer Offset from A$500,000 (US$333,000) per hour in qualifying Australian production expenditure to at least A$35m per season.

SPA is objecting to a proposal in the bill that will raise the threshold for access to the Location Offset from the current level of A$15m to A$20m. SPA CEO Matthew Deaner said that in order to effectively share the spoils of this offset with small Australian businesses working with international partners on smaller-scale projects, “we need to resist this change.”

He added that keeping the threshold as it is “will invariably generate work for smaller local businesses that can use this service work to sustain themselves in between local commissions.”

SPA also used the government inquiry as a further opportunity to demand urgent regulatory action on streaming platforms, which remains unaddressed by legislation.

“The same businesses that will receive the overall benefit from the changes to the Location Offset to shoot international productions in Australia are the subject of proposed streaming regulation to deliver local Australian stories. We need to recognise that there is a critical interdependence between international work and having a robust Australian industry telling Australian stories,” Deaner said.

“International projects are attracted to film in Australia because of our reputation for quality crew, technical know-how, strong screen-friendly culture and financial support. Without an independent Australian industry, eventually our expertise will be hollowed out, making us increasingly less attractive to international projects.

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