This article was corrected on July 2, 2003.
SYDNEY –The New Zealand government’s newly announced incentives to attract offshore film and TV productions have raised alarms in neighboring Australia.
Australia’s international production industry is in “serious jeopardy” because, unlike the Kiwi initiative, Oz has no concessions for big-budget TV series or bundled telepics, according to Ausfilm, the industry responsible for attracting foreign film and TV production Down Under.
“Australia’s incentive scheme, introduced by the Federal Government last year, is a good model and has been successful in attracting foreign feature film production to Australia,” said Ausfilm chief exec Trisha Rothkrans. “It’s so good that the New Zealanders have copied and extended it. Now Australia is losing its competitive edge in the growing international offshore film and television production marketplace and is putting at risk the enormous investment that’s been made in training and infrastructure.”
Just last week, Ausfilm alerted the government to the dramatic downturn in international TV production in Australia in the past 18 months and called for Australia’s 12.5% tax credit to be extended to series and bundling of telemovies and straight-to-video films.
“International producers such as Joel Silver, Rick McCallum, Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions and Coote Hayes all have television productions they want to bring to Australia, but without incentives, we’re going to miss out on the jobs and the dollars they want to put into this country,” Rothkrans added