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Budget 2006: Review of film support measures.

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The Government has announced a review of the full range of government support measures for funding films in Australia.

“The 2006-07 review will be broad-ranging and will examine the effectiveness of current programmes. This review will be conducted by October 2006. It will assess other support options and the effectiveness of taxation incentives for the industry,” the Minister

for the Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp, said today.

“The review will encompass consideration of funding for the Film Finance Corporation for 2008-09 and beyond, taking into account the outcomes from the additional funding provided as part of the Government’s 2004 election commitment, as well as the scheduled review of Film Australia.”

The Australian Government has a strong record of support for the film sector. Following the 2004 election, the Government introduced a package of measures to strengthen the film sector by attracting greater levels of private finance, redressing the current downturn in local production and keeping the sector competitive through script and skills development.

This package of measures is worth $88 million over four years (from 2004-05). Funding for Australian Government film agencies in 2006-07 totals over $160 million.

A major impediment to the long term viability of the film and television industry in Australia is the very low and declining level of private sector investment in the industry. The review will also look at the tax incentives available to the industry, and assess their effectiveness at attracting investment to the industry.

The Minister also noted the statutory requirement for a review of the Refundable Film Tax Offset to be conducted by September 2006.

“The review is designed to improve the film industry’s effectiveness and enhance its viability and resonance with audiences, both in Australia and overseas,” Senator Kemp said.

The findings of the current review of the 10BA and 10B tax incentive schemes, which is examining issues relating to clarity of the schemes’ operations, will also inform the broader review.

Future funding for the film industry will be considered in the light of the outcomes from this review.

[9] May 2006 Media contact: Michael Christo, Minister’s Office 03 9650 7274 or 0409 040276