Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, delivered the following 90 second statement to the Parliament.
“Arts, culture and creativity enrich the lives of all Australians. Yet decades of underinvestment and bad policies, by a succession of federal governments, have weakened many sectors of the creative industries to the point of ruin.
“For example in the Clark electorate, Blue Rocket, a much-loved children’s production studio was forced to close last year because of cuts to children’s local content quotas. And another organisation, Wide Angle, will shut its doors soon if it doesn’t receive a significant funding boost.
“Compounding problems is that creative industries in regional and remote areas simply don’t enjoy the same benefits as their counterparts in big cities. And this hits Tasmania hard, as evidenced by Wide Angle’s predicament, and their observation that Tassie filmmakers receive just a fraction of Screen Australia and free-to-air TV opportunities.
“Yes the Federal Government is developing a National Cultural Policy. But the Government needs to show it’s truly committed to reform with equitable and effective investment, and long-term stable funding.
“And it’s got to drill down and get the detail right, for instance the Government must ensure Australian stories are heard by reinstating local content quotas and ensuring global streaming sites are investing at least 20 per cent of their revenue on Australian content. Anything less will be too little to save struggling production companies and resurrect wonderful ventures like Blue Rocket.”