NSW Government Puts Screen Jobs, Revenue, and Investment Growth at Risk For Years To Come – Screen Producers Australia (SPA) today acknowledges devastating setbacks for the NSW screen industry, as the NSW Government confirms that important screen programs, such as the ‘Made in NSW’ fund, will be all but axed in the coming state budget.

The cuts reportedly include reduced funding for the Post Digital and Visual Effects (PDV), the Digital Games Development Rebate Program, and the axing of the Made in NSW Fund.

The ‘Made in NSW’ fund is the NSW program for domestic high-end television and features funding that helps attract footloose offshore productions to film in NSW. 

These funds collectively deliver millions of dollars to the state and thousands of jobs that will now move to other parts of the country. SMEs will follow. Film and television projects that have been generated from these funds include Doctor Doctor, Janet King, Love Child, Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, Mr In Between, Mystery Road, Mad Max 2: Furiosa, Mother and Son, Rake, Thor: Love and Thunder and Total Control.

Each of these created jobs and multiples of economic activity both in Sydney and regional areas of the state.

“This cut is a disaster for screen practitioners both here in NSW and beyond. It shows disappointing short-term thinking about the value of the screen industry”, said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

“To cut a fund that reportedly brings in $20 for every dollar invested and creates thousands of jobs is hard to comprehend, especially when, after years of stagnation and setbacks, the sector had been so optimistic about its future prospects. 

“With the Australian Parliament on the verge of regulating the reinvestment in Australian content by streaming platforms, this action by the NSW Government will see this state missing out on the new investment and job opportunities available. 

“The timing of this cut is particularly hard to understand, just when creative industries are seeking to engage positively with the new government in the development of the state’s first Arts, Culture and Creative Industries Policy. Submissions had barely closed on this consultation when news of these cuts was announced. 

“Other States like Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia are awake to the opportunities the screen industry offers to smart governments willing to recognise the growing creative industries by facilitating investment and creating jobs to meet the growing global demand for quality screen content. 

“While other States are actively opening doors for screen industry growth, NSW is slamming them shut. NSW cannot afford to be complacent and send such a strongly negative signal to the world as it is doing with these cuts. 

“SPA members indicated in SPA’s  2022 Screen Business Support Survey that Screen NSW already has a lot of ground to make up to address negative perceptions, which will be especially difficult without the support of its own government.

According to the ABS, the NSW screen industry generated more than $3 billion in total income in 2021-22. Screen is also a foundational part of the state’s creative industries, playing a key role in the sector’s stability for employment across a range of related cultural employment in theatre, set and costume design and music composition. 

All these related industries will experience significant related setbacks, as will other parts of the economy that benefit from screen industries, including various service sectors, including technology, hospitality, and accommodation, not to mention tourism.

“This cut is particularly disappointing for those working in Screen NSW who had shared the industry’s optimism about future growth and stability. SPA recognises that this is a harsh setback for them – and the rest of the screen industry,” Mr Deaner said.

SPA will consult with its members to discuss the ramifications of these cuts and make appropriate representations to the Minister. 

Link to SPA submission to the NSW Culture and Creative Industries Policy review HERE.

Link to Screen NSW’s ‘Made In NSW Fund’ brochure HERE outlining the benefits of the Fund.

Media Release – Screen Australia

TV Central Screen Australia content HERE

NSW Government Puts Screen Jobs, Revenue, and Investment Growth at Risk For Years To Come