Devastating setback for TV and film industry

NSW Nationals

Nationals Member for Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh, has slammed a decision by the Minns Labor Government to axe the Made in NSW program.

Mr Singh, the Shadow Minister for Tourism and Shadow Minister for the North Coast, said Made in NSW was a five year $175 million program designed to attract high-end television and feature films.

Funding from Made in NSW has been used to help secure blockbusters like Mad Max: Furiosa, which has been described as the biggest movie ever to be made in this state.

Next week’s NSW budget is expected to include the axing of $188 million worth of programs including Made in NSW.

Mr Singh said this represents a devastating setback for the NSW screen industry.

He has pointed to comments by Matt Deaner, the CEO of Screen producers Australian, who said “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.”

“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,” Mr Deaner said.

Mr Singh said according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the NSW screen industry generates more than $3 billion in total income every year.

He said that for every dollar invested through the Made in NSW fund, there is a return of $20, and it creates thousands of jobs.

“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 of those related industries will experience significant related setbacks, as will other parts of the economy that benefit from the screen industries,” Mr Singh said.

The NSW Government has also announced a cut to the Destination NSW budget, which means that the NSW Regional Business Event Development Fund has been added to the long list of regional-based funds that have been axed by Labor.

“I say to the Labor Government: You might talk a big game when it comes to supporting our creative industries, but all you have done so far is walk away,” Mr Singh said.

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