Lights, Camera, Action! Victorian Screen Industry back in the spotlight

Only a Liberal-Nationals Government will provide strategic and significant support to the screen industry in Victoria.

Screen (film, television, electronic gaming, software and interactive entertainment) contributes around $1.4 billion to State GDP, employs around 11,500 FTEs and is a big driver of tourism.

However, it is an industry that is changing rapidly, and one that needs a renewed emphasis on business development and support.

A Liberal-Nationals Government will continue to support the production of new screen content in Victoria and the businesses that provide jobs for, and build the skills of practitioners, and will:

· Establish a new International Production Attraction Fund, to attract footloose international film and TV productions to Victoria;
· Audit the operation of the Liberal-Nationals’ Filming Approvals Act 2014 to ensure it is properly utilised by state and local government authorities to eliminate red tape;
· Fund the development of a new “Filming in Victoria” locations resource (including a mobile app) to consolidate location and other relevant filming information;
· Introduce a new Indigenous Cultural Screen Initiative, offering grants for screen practitioners who can showcase Indigenous storytelling and Indigenous cultural sites to both domestic and international tourists;
· Continue to fund and support the Melbourne International Film Festival, its Premiere Fund and the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne;
· Review the guidelines and scope of the Regional Local Assistance Fund (RLAF) to attract more screen projects to Regional Victoria;
· Continue a Victorian Production Fund to allow for a greater share of Australian film and TV productions;
· Review screen industry training courses through University/TAFE to ensure that industry practitioners are receiving training that is fit for purpose;
· Investigate the feasibility of creating a world-class sound stage in Victoria;
· Lobby the Federal Government to increase tax incentives to attract international productions to Australia and establish an LA-based representative to secure those projects for Victoria; and
· Work with screen agencies in key international markets to establish new co-production partnerships.

The Liberal-Nationals also understand the economic importance and particular needs of Victoria’s game development industry, which contributes $123 million nationally to our economy and supports around 590 FTE jobs in Victoria.

We’ll continue to support game industry skills, development, events and the business development of game companies, and will:

· Work with games industry representatives and relevant Victorian tertiary institutions to ensure that game development courses meet industry expectations;
· Provide new funding for developers of “applied games” that have safety, health or education benefits;
· Continue to provide direct assistance to developers for the marketing and promotion of their games;
· Lobby the Federal Government to expand the eligibility criteria for the existing 40% production offset to include games projects or introduce a new offset that applies to games content; and
· Continue to support major events such as Melbourne International Games Week (started by the Liberal Nationals in 2014), and the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) (brought to Melbourne by the Liberal-Nationals) and the annual Games Connect Asia Pacific conference as well as the attendance of games industry developers at major international conferences and events.

The Liberal-Nationals vision for the Victorian screen industry is clear. We’ve listened to each part of the industry and will deliver a package that is supportive, innovative and most importantly, secure.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Arts and Culture, Heidi Victoria:

“I’m a great believer in the significance of the Victorian screen industry and nurturing our creative talents across Victoria.

The Victorian screen industry is big business to our state and deserves our support and recognition of their contribution to the arts, tourism and the Victorian economy.

Victoria is already the cultural capital of Australia but a Liberal-Nationals Government is committed to doing even more to cement our reputation.”