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Federal Government's 'war on red tape' leaves Aussie actors and crew as collateral damage: John Howard opposes Govt's film/TV visa changes

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For more information contact Jeremy Roberts on 0433 620 850 or Nick Xenophon on 0411 626 677

24 / 2 / 2015

Federal Government’s ‘war on red tape’ leaves Aussie actors and crew as collateral damage:


WHAT Joint news conference with Independent Senator Nick Xenophon and other interested MPs and Senators, actors John Howard, Susie Porter, Geoff Morrell and MEAA Director, Equity, Zoe Angus

WHEN 10.30am

WHERE Senate courtyard

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, today joins with noted Australian film and television actors John Howard, Susie Porter and Geoff Morrell, to oppose any abolition of the protections for Australians employed in tax-payer supported films and television productions.

The Government has ordered a review of the subclass 420 visa, under the heading of cutting red tape. Submissions closed on Monday and Arts Minister George Brandis is expected to face questioning on the matter later today in Senate Estimates.

The 420 visa is used to bring in overseas actors and crew to Australia. At present, foreign workers can be brought in on a tax-payer supported film or television projects provided minimum quotas for Australians are first met (see attached background sheet).

“These rules have been crucial in developing the Australian film and television sector and making a viable career pathway for many thousands of talented Australians,” said Nick.

“The problem with the Government’s so called war on red tape is that the real casualties will be Australian actors and crew.”

Today Senator Xenophon will host a parliamentary briefing for cross bench Senators and MPs attended by representatives of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and the visiting actors.

John Howard said that the current rules “makes sure that a production funded by Australian taxpayers gives job opportunities to Australian performers”.

MEAA, Director, Equity Zoe Angus said: “If these protections are abolished as the Government plans, opportunities for talented young Australian performers and crew will vanish. We all know Australia produces great actors and technicians. But they don’t come from nowhere. International stars like Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush and Rose Byrne started their acting careers as unknowns in TV and film productions supported by taxpayer funding.”