Written by Kianna Best on Sep 12, 2023. Posted in Awards and Festivals

New South Wales government plans “devastating” cuts to local screen industry

Significant cuts to the local New South Wales screen industry will be made in the coming state budget. The local government confirmed programmes such as Made in NSW, the Digital Games Development Rebate Programme , the Post Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) will be impacted, posing overall setback to the industry.


"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", commented Screen Producers Australia 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.


The funds at risk have contributed millions to the state, including thousands of jobs which will now transition to other parts of the country. Reportedly generating AUS 3 billion in total income during the 2021-22 period, the NSW screen industry has made a significant impact not only to the overall economy but to the state’s creative sector as a whole. With the cuts will come a setback to those working across the industry in fields such as set and costume design, music composition and theatre. Arts minister John Graham stated that cuts are coming as a result of AUS 188 million being cut from the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade’s budget two weeks before the NSW elections during the beginning of March.


New South Wales has seen a number of high performing projects come across their lands, including many which benefitted from the funds facing drastic changes, such as Doctor DoctorJanet KingLove ChildLost Flowers of Alice HartMr In BetweenMystery RoadMad Max 2: Furiosa, Mother and Son, Rake, Thor: Love and Thunder and Total Control. Already staggered by the impact of the WGA and SAG-Aftra strikes occurring stateside, halting the production of projects such as Mortal Kombat 2 and Peacock’s Apples Never Fall, Deaner stated that "NSW cannot afford to be complacent" in such a climate.


“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,” added Deaner. “Submissions had barely closed on this consultation when news of these cuts was announced.”



Images courtesy of  Bunya Productions 


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