Australian Screen Industry Celebrates Increase in Location Offset Scheme

Australian Screen Industry Celebrates Increase in Location Offset Scheme

The Australian screen industry is rejoicing after the recent announcement of the country’s Location Offset scheme being raised to 30%. This legislation, which was officially made law and came into effect on July 1, has been a long time coming for many in the industry. The increase in the rebate for TV and film productions shooting in the country from the previous 16.5% to 30% is a significant boost that is expected to bring about more overseas investment.

Kate Marks, the CEO of production body Ausfilm, expressed her excitement over the change, stating that it is fantastic news for the industry. She emphasized that the 30% Location Offset will provide certainty for international productions, support a stable pipeline of work for thousands of Australian screen workers and businesses, and trigger investment into new industry capacity and capabilities. This change is crucial for the Australian screen industry as it aims to stay competitive in the global market.

Australian TV and film bodies have been advocating for this rebate improvement for years, recognizing the importance of staying competitive as Australia continues to attract more international shoots. Thanks to the generous regional rebate systems in states such as Victoria and New South Wales, Australia has become a sought-after filming location for major productions. The increase in the Location Offset is also aligned with The Australian government’s Revive National Cultural Policy, highlighting the importance of international production in the country.

Australia’s Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, highlighted that the changes will benefit the entire Australian screen sector. He emphasized that the increase in the Location Offset will encourage more large-budget productions to choose Australia as their filming location. This, in turn, will provide opportunities for Australian screen workers to showcase their talents and hone their craft locally. The government is committed to supporting the growth of the industry through incentives like the Location Offset scheme.

To qualify for the rebate, Australian production expenditure thresholds have been increased, with film requiring a minimum expenditure of A$20M and television series needing to spend at least A$1.5M per hour. Productions will also be required to meet minimum training obligations or contribute to the workforce and infrastructure capacity of the sector. Additionally, they must engage at least one Australian post, digital, and visual effects company, and provide new reporting to capture relevant data. These qualifications aim to ensure that the benefit of the Location Offset scheme is maximized for the Australian screen industry.

Apart from the Location Offset, Australia also offers a 30% Post, Digital, and Visual Effects (PDV) Offset for international productions that travel to the country for VFX and post-production work. The country’s incentives programs also include the 40% Producer Offset, which is targeted at local productions and requires adherence to an Australian cultural test. These additional incentives contribute to making Australia a competitive and attractive filming location for both local and international productions in the screen industry.

Overall, the increase in the Location Offset scheme is a significant development for the Australian screen industry, providing a much-needed boost to competitiveness and attracting more international productions to the country. This change is a testament to the industry’s advocacy efforts and the government’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of the sector. With these incentives in place, Australia is well-positioned to continue thriving as a prominent player in the global screen industry.

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