The Australian government handed down its federal budget for 1993-94 on Tuesday, allocating the arts industry $ A331 million ($ 222 million), a 12% increase over last year.
Of that, the overall allocation to film and television is $ A94 million ($ 63 million).
Importantly, the government has honored funding promises made earlier this year in relation to film and TV backing. The Film Finance Corp., Australia’s main production funder, has been allocated $ A57 million ($ 38 million), as expected.
The Australian Film Commission will also receive, as promised, additional funding of around $ 350,000 (part of an overall increase of $ 2.5 million over four years) for development and production support, chief exec Cathy Robinson confirmed; that brings its budget for the year to just under $ 15 million.
The Australian Childrens’ TV Foundation is also eyeing increased funding to improve children’s media.
The government’s major arts funding body, the Australia Council, will receive $ 39.5 million.
The Aussie Broadcasting Corp., a pubcaster, and the multicultural network Special Broadcasting Service also received modest funding increases. ABC was given an additional $ 15 million, bringing its total funding to $ 356 million; the boost largely represents the government’s pledge to give seed funding for the ABC’s fledgling pay TV service.
Triple J expanding
SBS funding rose almost $ 4 million to $ 48 million. Government also allocated an extra $ 13 million to the ABC’s radio youth network Triple J to expand its service into regional areas.