House debates

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Constituency Statements

Sturt Electorate: Creative Industries

10:43 am

Photo of James StevensJames Stevens (Sturt, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I'd like to take the opportunity to talk about the creative industries, and particularly the screen sector, television and film. This is relevant as a constituency statement because, indeed, I'm very proud to have the South Australian Film Corporation located in my electorate of Sturt, in Glenside, which is one of the premiere sound stage pieces of infrastructure, frankly, in the Southern Hemisphere. Recently, very proudly, to use an industry term, we 'wrapped' a film, Mortal Kombat, which is really exciting. It is the most significant, highest-budget production ever undertaken in South Australia, which I see as, in many ways, being just the beginning for us. One of the things that we have seen in this sector because of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is that the initial response from the industry across the world has been to put on hold a whole lot of productions and content creation across film, television and streaming services. But, of course, those businesses, paradoxically, of course, have never had more demand, given the restrictions that have been put in place on society. So they're very excited and ambitious to get back up and produce content to satisfy this enormous demand.

Of course they're considering where in the world are the places that are safe for them to make their future investments into production. I think it's quite self-evident that a country like Australia is clearly going to be a higher preference into the future because of the way in which we've managed this pandemic. I see in my home state of South Australia, and of course having the film corporation in my electorate of Sturt, that we are only going to have an increase in interest from significant overseas production companies to undertake these sorts of projects in Australia and South Australia.

The Commonwealth has a very effective scheme for location attraction. Frankly, the screen sector is a lot like the car industry: everywhere in the world there are taxpayer subsidies. You have to have taxpayer funds backing these productions for your location to be competitive. That is the case with Commonwealth policy in this area. I'm very proud to be part of a government that sees the value in this industry and is investing it. We want to see that happening well into the future. I'm also very lucky to have local post-production companies in my electorate, like KOJO in Kent Town, who are working on amazing Hollywood films. It's so easy these days to collaborate across the planet. A company in my electorate of Sturt can be involved in a production out of Hollywood, and that's certainly happening with companies like KOJO and Rising Sun and Technicolor. So I congratulate the sector but also reinforce what great excitement there is for the future and the opportunities that will come post this pandemic in Australia.