Effect of cuts: $1.4B+ economic loss & 29,800+ jobs

Today, Screen Producers Australia (SPA) and the NSW screen industry brace for the impact of the delivery of the NSW Budget containing devastating cuts to screen programs of around $45 million for this financial year, confirmed by the Minister for the Arts, Hon John Graham MLC.
“There’s no doubt that these cuts have created a high level of panic and distress in the screen industry, which is creating a huge human and business toll,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.
“I’ve been inundated with calls and emails from hundreds of members that are affected. So far, SPA has calculated from information provided in the last week that around 85 projects are affected by this funding cut, with now nearly 30,000 jobs that are generated by it at risk and over $1.4 billion in economic activity that will all but disappear from NSW in the months ahead. However, there are likely to be many, many more jobs and investments lost to the state that will only become apparent over time if the state is slow to act.
“This is nothing short of a disaster for NSW, for the state’s screen industry, and for the credibility of the NSW Government amongst creative workers.
“We know that every dollar invested by the NSW Government results in $20 of economic activity, so these cuts will undoubtedly flow across the state economy, including in regional areas where many projects are often filmed.
“NSW’s screen industry is comprised of more than two thousand, primarily SMEs and independent businesses. They represent nearly half of Australia’s film and production businesses and have been attracted to base their work here in part because of the previous strong commitment to supporting this industry by previous state governments.
“Film and television production businesses work hard to bring a range of financing partners together to fund a production. They rely on the reputation of the NSW Government to secure funding from a range of sources, both public and private. These are complex commercial arrangements that rely strongly on the goodwill and good faith of each partner to conclude.
“The lack of notice about the end to these programs is a significant departure from normal administrative practice as planning and financing for the screen sector is done years in advance of production. That is why it is a deep shock to the state’s screen producers and screen businesses that the NSW Government has now apparently withdrawn as a source of funding and with no warning. This decision appears reckless to the fate of these businesses and the people they employ.
The screen industry is already facing critical challenges because of the US writer’s and actor’s strikes.
“A subsequent $5 million pledge for the most critical projects, while a positive start, still leaves a significant immediate funding gap and is not enough to ensure that a collapse of projects in the state is averted. SPA estimates that the NSW industry needs at least another $20 million to fill this looming funding gap until the end of the year and avert the crash that is looming.
“SPA is today calling on the Premier, the Treasurer and Minister for the Arts to address this funding gap urgently. The future of the state’s screen industry is at stake,” said Mr Deaner.

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