After twelve months of intense lobbying by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers in partnership with producers, writers, directors and the documentary, post-production and visual effects screen sector, new legislation will see a significant boost to local screen production, and enhance the livelihoods of screen composers.
Yesterday parliament passed legislation that not only increased the Producer Offset for television productions from 20 to 30 per cent but also removed proposed amendments that would damage the work of local screen composers and small productions and documentaries.
“This is incredible news for the local screen sector and we applaud the Australian Government for ensuring the swift passage of the bill to increase the Producer Offset,” said Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS Chief Executive.
“APRA AMCOS and the Guild have been in lock-step lobbying to remove the more damaging aspects to the legislation that would have raised the QAPE threshold for Producer and PDV offsets and removed the Gallipoli clause, undermining the livelihoods of screen composers working in documentaries, independent film and television,” Ormston said.
Amendments moved in the Senate by the Opposition and supported by crossbench senators from across the chamber ensured that proposals to raise the QAPE threshold from $500,000 to $1million and abolishing the Gallipoli clause for local productions to film overseas were removed.
“This is a big win for Australian screen composers. This bill will now support the local screen industry with incentives that will promote, encourage and foster not just more local television productions but also documentaries and low budget screen content,” said Antony Partos, President of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers.
“We have always maintained that our local screen industry is much bigger than a film set for Hollywood films and we believe that getting this Bill right will allow for a continuation of a diverse and culturally rich range of stories.
“The proposal to lift the threshold for rebates to $1 million and the removal of the Gallipoli clause would have been devastating for local screen composers who derive significant income from these productions.
“There are hundreds of small screen industry businesses including screen composers that generate valuable intellectual property for the country. These creators and creative businesses must be fostered if we want Australia to be not just a global location for filming, but also the home to globally relevant screen stories,” Partos said.
APRA AMCOS and the AGSC will continue to lobby government and industry to ensure funding structures and screen industry incentives better support local talent with eligibility criteria that stipulates the engagement of local screen composers and musicians.