Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Robbing producers to pay Paul: Labor's new assault on film industry viability



Download PDFDownload PDF

‘3

PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA ยท THE SENATE

SENATOR CHRISTOPHER PUPLICK

SHADOW MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, ARTS AND THE BICENTENARY

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE A 6/88 26.4.88

ROBBING PRODUCERS TO PAY PAUL LABOR'S NEW ASSAULT ON FILM INDUSTRY VIABILITY

The Commissioner of Taxation has now confirmed that Paul

Keating's 1986 Budget is to be used to slug the already ailing Australian film industry. On 7 April, the Commissioner issued Sales Tax Rulings ST2407 (video production) and ST2407 (sound

recordings) in which he confirmed a new 20% sales tax imposition on all production and post-production costs of advertising videos

and sound recordings.

This new tax takes effect on 1 June 1988 as was confirmed to me today when I raised this matter with the Minister in the Senate.

In 1985/6 about $500 million was spent producing television

commercials alone. On this basis Paul Keating's grab will be at least $100 million. The result of this will be either that budgets will be cut by 20%, or that 20% fewer commercials will be made, resulting in job losses or possibly even the closure of

some production houses.

People often do not realise how dependent the whole film industry is on the production of advertisements. They are often the cement which holds together the rest of the industry in leaner

times.

These Sales Tax Rulings are confused and contradictory - it is

for example unclear whether "master" tapes will be sales tax

exempt as "aids to manufacture".

What is clear however is the Government's double dealing with the

whole film industry.

CO M MONW EALTH PARLIAMENT OFFICES, CHIFLEY SQUARE, SYDNEY 2000. PH. (02) 239 3003

- 2 -

Under Labor, film and television production has fallen to its

lowest levels this decade. Whereas in February 1987 there were 64 film and television projects on the drawing board, to the value of $186 million; now there are only 4 projects in

production this year.

On February 17 the Minister for the Arts promised a new film

industry support package to be announced by the end of March. It is now nearly the end of April and still we have no firm news of plans to rescue the industry from Labor's assaults.

Today the Minister in charge of this whole Department admitted that it was only "at the end of February" that the full dimension of the crisis was realised by the Government. All the warning signs were in place long before - they were evident to those with

eyes to see.

If some sort of "rescue" package is in place by 1 July, and there is no guarantee of this, it will be virtually too late. What good will it be to have say $100 million committed to the

industry from 1 July, if the same industry has been subjected to

$100 million worth of new taxes from 1 June?

It is about time the whole film industry woke up to the fact that it is not what Labor has done for the film industry, but what Labor is doing to the film industry that matters. The whole 10BA

support scheme, when it was meaningful was the creation of the

previous Liberal and National Party Government. It was our

Parties who "rescued" the film industry.

This new assault on the beleaguered industry is almost beyond

comprehension. It exposes Labor's double standards and broken

promises in relation to the film industry.

For more information: Senator Puplick (062) 72-6741.