House debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Statements by Members

O'Connor Electorate: Film Industry

1:32 pm

Photo of Rick WilsonRick Wilson (O'Connor, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My beautiful electorate of O'Connor has been recognised as the ideal setting for iconic Australian movies. Jasper Jones, Breath, Rams and H is for Happiness have all showcased our amazing southern scenery, quaint country towns and welcoming regional communities. Now it's the Goldfields' turn, with its rugged landscapes and historic towns featuring in a new season of the award-winning crime drama Mystery Road. I recently visited the set of this ABC-Screenwest collaboration and was hosted on an informative tour by producers Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey of Bunya Productions. They introduced me to director Dylan River, son of the esteemed Warwick Thornton, and director of photography Tyson Perkins, who both represent the next generation of First Nations filmmakers. Their crew were transforming the front bar of the Federal Hotel, Kalgoorlie, into a crime scene, while the stars and a large contingent of local extras were enjoying a hearty brekky ahead of a long day of shooting.

Although nearby Coolgardie has been the main location for this incarnation of Mystery Road, I'm told there has been a total regional spend of over $3 million with over 300 people employed as extras and crewmembers. This will have a significant economic and reputational benefit for O'Connor. Kirsty Bradley of the ABC summed it all up, saying: 'Your constituents have been so welcoming of the entire production, and the spectacular locations highlight the natural beauty of your electorate of O'Connor. We will be back.'