There are already two major inquiries this year in Canberra into the future of Australia’s screen industry, but Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young yesterday launched yet another.
Her inquiry into the “Economic and Cultural Value of Australian Content on Broadcast, Radio and Streaming Services” comes after the government’s Australian and Children’s Screen Content Review and a House of Representatives inquiry into the growth and sustainability of Australian film and TV.
Hanson-Young’s inquiry was launched yesterday in Canberra, a month after the launch of the “Make it Australian” campaign by the Australian Directors’ Guild, Australian Writers’ Guild, Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, Screen Producers Australia and members of the Australian Screen Industry Group.
While commercial broadcasters have fought against Australian content quotas in recent months — particularly when it comes to children’s shows — the Make it Australian campaign is aiming to reform local content rules to ensure that emerging platforms are required to commission Australian content.
Hanson-Young launched her inquiry yesterday with the support of the Australian Writers Guild CEO Jacqueline Elaine and Australian Directors’ Guild CEO Kingston Anderson.
She said: “We’ve got so many great stories to tell across the country, and talented people working in our television, film and music industries. It’s time to acknowledge the positive impact investing in these industries has on our nation, and find out how we can improve it.”
“Big commercial broadcasters complain that creating Australian programming doesn’t suit their business model but what they seem to ignore is the immense value Australian content has on our society and how we can project Australia to the rest of the world.
“The way we watch television has changed with online and on-demand services like Netflix and Stan. We need local content requirements for these service too, just like is being done in other countries around the world.
“If the big commercial broadcasters have their way, local content requirements for children’s television will be abolished and Australian-made drama will be cut. Australian families deserve to have their stories told, and their communities reflected back to them on screen; this is especially vital for children making sense of the world around them.”
The terms of reference for the review are as follows:
The economic and cultural value of Australian Content on Broadcast, Radio and Streaming Services, with particular reference to:
1. the current state and operation of the market for Australian television, and music industry including:
a. competition issues relating to the relative market power of producers and broadcasters for traditional, streaming and catch up viewing
2. the contribution the Australian television and music industries make to the economy
the value and importance of
a. local content requirements for television, radio and streaming services in Australia;
b. Australian children’s television and children’s content;
3. the committee shall have regard to:
a. recent international reviews and reports, in particular from the United Kingdom and Canada;
b. submissions made to:
i) the House Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts inquiry into Factors contributing to the growth and sustainability of the Australian film and television industry; and
ii) the Australian and Children’s Content Review undertaken by the Department of the Communications and the Arts, the Australian Communications and Media Authority and Screen Australia.
iii)Any other related matters
The committee will present its final report by or on Wednesday, May 9, 2018