Australia’s location offset, the financial incentive to attract international film and TV production, has been increased to 30%, in a surprise move by the Australian government.
Films spending at least A$20 million, up from A$15 million, in Australia on Australian goods and services can now claim back 30% of that on completion. The minimum threshold for television has increased from A$1m to A$1.5m per hour.
Producers will have to meet training obligations and use at least one Australian provider of post or visual effects.
It was previously possible to secure 30% but only for a few able to negotiate the complexities and secure what used to be a 16.5% rebate as well as a grant.
Recent features to shoot in Australia include Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s The Fall Guy, Peter Farrelly’s comedy Ricky Stanicky for Amazon, and Highland Film Group, Volition Media Partners, Broken Open Pictures’ Land Of Bad, starring Russell Crowe, Liam Hemsworth and Luke Hemsworth.
This month it was announced the unscripted series Stars on Mars would be made in South Australia. The series, starring William Shatner, was commissioned by Fox Entertainment and Eureka Productions of Fremantle. The change was announced by the 2023/24 Federal Budget on May 9 and was a shock to many, despite decades of lobbying. It is applicable from 1 July – subject to the passage of legislation. Ausfilm CEO Kate Marks said it was “outstanding” news that would ensure a robust pipeline of physical production and PDV (post, digital, visual effects) work, certainty and stability for international production, and stable employment for thousands of Australian businesses and individuals.
“We want to maintain the great production levels we’ve had
, which are above the five-year average,” she told Screen “It’s not about opening the floodgates and increasing activity exponentially. … It’s about building our industry’s capacity over time.”
Ausfilm has a four-year budget of A$6.9m to promote Australia as a location. Marks hopes that the move will lead to private investment in infrastructure, which will benefit the entire production eco-system. Marks said that the move would not only benefit studios (although it is well known that Australia could use more studios), but also grips and gaffers who buy more equipment. The Labor government of Anthony Albanese, which has been in power since mid-2022, claims that the jump to 30% and the new minimum expenditure will add A$112.3 million to the pot used to attract international investment. The exact figure is unknown, but the Labor government of Anthony Albanese, in power since mid-2022, claims that the increase to 30%, along with the new minimum expenditure, will add A$112.3 to the pot to attract international investments.