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Cut to local content requirements another blow to arts and entertainment industry

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 15 Apr 2020

Greens Spokesperson for Media and Arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young responded to the Morrison Government’s announcement on Australian media today:

“This announcement is another blow to the arts and entertainment industry.

“The Morrison Government must urgently put a rescue package on the table including money for an Australian Content Fund and local content requirements for streaming services.

“The arts and entertainment industry is on its knees and to date the Minister has failed to offer any real relief. Today’s announcement will in fact make things worse for many thousands of artists and entertainers who have already lost their jobs.

“Letting broadcasters out of local content requirements and failing to immediately regulate streaming services risks the jobs of every person who works on Australian drama, documentaries and children’s tv shows from actors, to writers, to crews.

“COVID-19 has created a difficult environment for broadcasters and the creative industries alike, and while some tax relief would be warranted the so-called red-tape relief essentially means one industry is sacrificed for another.

"When people are consuming more content than ever before, this was an opportunity to back Australian made and Australian jobs. Broadcasters and streaming services should be showing more Australian stories than ever.

"While shooting of new productions has been put on hold because of social distancing, there is a lot of production already made and sitting on shelves waiting to be broadcast. The Minister missed an opportunity to back Australia today.

“This is a missed opportunity to put money on the table for an Australian Content Fund to keep local stories being made, workers in the industry in jobs and to protect our unique Australian voice, at a time when as the PM says, national sovereignty and cultural identity is so important to keeping us all together and united.

“There is no need for more reviews before requiring the bigwigs of video streaming like Netflix, Stan and Amazon to be regulated to support Australian-made stories and entertainment.

“The additional funding to help save regional media outlets is welcome but the Minister needs to provide more detail so we can be sure it will go to those rural and regional publishers and broadcasters who need it most.”

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