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Netflix, Amazon & Apple should be backing Australian-made stories

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 14 Apr 2020

The big streaming companies should play their part in helping fund Australia’s cultural recovery, the Greens say. The Party is also calling on the Australian Government to commit to an Australian Content Fund.

“The bigwigs of video streaming like Netflix, Stan and Amazon should be regulated to support Australian made stories and entertainment, Greens Arts & Media spokesperson Senator Hanson-Young said today.

“During the Covid19 shutdown Australian households are logging on and streaming more content than ever before. Meanwhile Australia’s cultural, arts and entertainment industry is being decimated by the Government's Corona response. 

“It’s no surprise that it’s Australian artists and entertainers that are keeping us all sane as we remain cooped up inside in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. What is more surprising is unlike in other parts of the world, Australia has no obligations on big streaming companies to fund, invest and create Australian content or tell Australian stories.

“Now is the time for the Government to make a real difference in protecting and enhancing our national identity, culture and voice by issuing requirements for big players like Netflix, Amazon and Apple to put genuine support behind Australia’s screen and music industries.

“Funding cuts to both Screen Australia and the ABC over the years has seen support for creating quality Australian TV shows and films reduced. 

“Alongside Netflix and others, the Government needs to invest in an Australian Content Fund to keep local stories being made, workers in the industry in jobs and protect our unique Australian voice, at a time when as the Prime Minister says, national sovereignty and cultural identity is so important to keeping us all together and united.

“As the Arts and Communications Minister plans to make more announcements this week, it would be foolish to weaken the nations ability to create local content and tell our own stories. Pressured, free-to-air broadcasters may want less obligations to produce Australian shows and entertainment, but this would create mass job losses and a long-term economic downturn for everyone. Watering down Australian made content is the exact opposite of what we need right now."

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