MEDIA RELEASE - LABOR WILL MAKE IT AUSTRALIAN - 1 MAY 2019

Joint with Tony Burke MP, Shadow Minister for the Arts.

A Shorten Labor Government will ensure we continue to see Australian stories on Australian screens by modernising the settings that support Australian and children’s content in a converged media environment.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan to Make It Australian, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.

In six long years, the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has done little for the local screen sector other than cut services and programs, refuse to release reports and tinker at the edges in a piecemeal fashion.

Labor values creativity, diversity, and access, and will move swiftly to support our local screen industry by updating the policy and regulatory framework. This framework has not kept pace with change in the media sector.

Labor will convene a Taskforce to conclude the Australian and Children’s Screen Content Review – which stalled under the Liberals – to adapt and evolve local content obligations and incentives.

Our process will be evidence-based and consultative across a wide range of stakeholders – canvassing options that ensure we get the settings right and avoid negative unintended consequences. 

Despite the concerted effort of Australian producers, directors, writers, actors, broadcasters and screen bodies to make progress on the reform agenda, the Liberals ignored the key issues only to announce a minor tweak to a couple of offsets at the eleventh hour of the 45th Parliament. 

Australia can’t afford another three years of Liberal cuts and chaos at the expense of our stories, our culture and our local screen sector.                                              

Labor wants to support our screen industry from the bottom up – with settings that create jobs for our talented, local, creative workforce and allow small to medium sized screen businesses to produce diverse and quality Australian content, and children’s content, for local and international audiences.

Labor wants Australian kids to be able to grow up hearing Aussie accents and seeing Aussie places, and we want Australian stories to be told across the world, and across a range of media. 

We expect all players in the screen content ecosystem to do their bit to contribute to the sustainability and diversity of Australian stories. This includes overseas players as well as over-the-top services operated by Australian based companies.

Labor’s approach will be evidence-based, informed by public consultation on options and guided by Labor’s core review principles.                   

Labor’s core review principles are:

  • Australians must be able to enjoy Australian screen stories in an online environment across a range of media.
  • All content services in the business of providing Australians with professional content, that meet certain scale and service criteria, should be contributing to the health and sustainability of our screen content sector.
  • A consistent set of obligations and incentives should apply across all platforms and access models.
  • A diversity of services should provide a diversity of Australian content.
  • Implementation of the new scheme should be effected as soon as practicable.

Labor acknowledges the importance of the public broadcasters and screen agencies in contributing to the screen ecosystem and has already committed to reversing the Liberals’ unfair cut of $83.7 million to the ABC.

Only Labor has the vision and values to reform our screen policy to ensure we continue to Make It Australian.

After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready to deliver a fair go for all Australians.