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More opening nights with fundraising reforms.

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More opening nights with fundraising reforms


THERE will be more opening nights on Australian stages as a r esult of the Federal Government’s economic reforms, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.


Senator Campbell said Australia’s entertainment industry would get welcome benefits from the Government’s planned reforms to fundraising and prospectus rules.


He said entertainment industry figures had told him they were “delighted” with the changes, contained in the Corporate Law Economic Reform Bill introduced to Parliament by the Treasurer recently.


“Australia’s small to medium sized producers will get a real boost from these reforms, which will enable producers to raise funds in a more accessible, efficient and less costly manner, and benefit our world-beating entertainers.


“Reforms to the fundraising rules will allow producers to raise a total of up to $5 million using an Offer Information Statement, eliminating the high costs associated with issuing a prospectus.


“Producers wanting to raise funds in this way will not need to undertake due diligence enquiries or commission experts — cited as the most expensive aspects of issuing prospectuses.


“However, investors will be warned of the risks of investing without a prospectus and the desirability of obtaining professional investment advice.”


In addition, producers will have access to:


* Fundraising by personal offers, under which a prospectus will not be required if a producer makes personal offers that result in securities being issued to 20 or fewer people in a one-year period with no more than $2 million being raised;


* Sophisticated investor provisions, under which producers will be able to raise funds from “sophisticated investors” (people with net assets of $2.5 million or whose gross income in the previous two years was at least $250,000 per annum or who are consid ered “sophisticated” by a licensed securities dealer because of their previous investment experience) without preparing a prospectus.


Senator Campbell said with the average cost of a stage show being under $5 million, these reforms would offer major benef its to the industry.


“These reforms will enable Australia’s vibrant entertainment industry to raise funds at reduced expense, growing businesses and creating jobs.”


He said that under the reforms it will be a lot less costly to produce successful productions such as The Boy from Oz, Tap Dogs, Steel City, Fiddler on the Roof, Sweet Charity, Secret Garden and Cabaret.


“This will also give added impetus to the export of Australia’s entertainment product overseas."


The Chief Executive of the Entertainment Industry Employers Association, Ms Jan Stoneham, said: “My Association welcomes as good news for the small to medium-sized productions in the industry the Government’s reforms to the fundraising and prospectus rules. These producers will have easier access to fundraising for their productions, removing the prohibitive cost barrier associated with the cost of a prospectus.


“We are particularly pleased to have this practical response to our lobbying efforts on behalf of our EIEA members,” Ms Stoneham said.


The reforms will give greater momentum to our industry which contributes significantly to the Australian economy in a variety of ways.”


7 August, 1998


Further information:


Senator Ian Campbell (02) 6277 3955

Jan Stoneham - Chief Executive, Entertainment Industry Employers Association

(03) 9521 1900