The Liberal Party in Oz has used the Screen Producers Assn. of Australia Conference to unveil plans to speed up the way that producers receive the 40% tax rebate on their films.
Australian set designer Ralph Myers has been tapped to replace Neil Armfield as artistic director of Company B Belvoir.
Seven Network, winner of the annual ratings race, leading the chase for ad dollars and home to some of Oz's biggest smallscreen stars, should be riding high.
The U.S.'s flirtation with shooting Down Under has hit a dry spell with not one big-budget U.S. feature shot in Oz in the past 12 months, the first time in nearly 20 years.
Oz's top indie distrib, Icon Films, has reported a mixed year, but standouts, like a $23 million haul for "Slumdog Millionaire," have helped it stay on top.
Incentivewise, Oz is still tubthumping its generous Producer Offset that provides a rebate of 40% of feature expenditure and 20% for all other formats.
Big-budget productions have eased in New Zealand in the past 12 months, though the biz is bracing for New Line's "The Hobbit" in 2010.
Bruce Beresford's "Mao's Last Dancer" has notched some $6 million at the B.O. in two weeks on 266 screens.
Don Lane, a pioneer of Oz's late-night chat show skein, has died in Sydney after a long battle with dementia. He was 75.
Seven Network unveiled 7TWO, its digital terrestrial channel, on Friday -- the last of Australia's Big Three commercial webs to bow a second offering.
A fight has broken out between licensing org the Phonographic Performance Co. of Australia and Clubs Australia, which reps 4,000 clubs and restaurants nationwide, over a hike in copyright fees for…