$400m deal to create thousands of new jobs

 

MILLIONS of dollars and thousands of jobs are set to flow after the Federal Government agreed to nearly double tax incentives for big-budget international movie productions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will visit the Gold Coast on Friday to announce a $400 million incentive deal to attract more productions to the country, capitalising on the prolonged shutdown of the US entertainment sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jason Maoa in the movie Aquaman
Jason Maoa in the movie Aquaman

The incentives deal will run until 2027 and is expected to grease the pipeline to attract more.

It's a huge win for the Gold Coast on the back of a three-year campaign by the Bulletin to secure the deal.

Mr Morrison said the deal would play a significant role in the revitalisation of Australia's arts industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic.

"This investment is key to our JobMaker plan to create jobs, boost local business activity, and provide training and skills," he said.

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Scott Morrison. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Taylor
Scott Morrison. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Taylor

"Behind these projects are thousands of workers that build and light the stages, that feed, house and cater for the huge cast and crew and that bring the productions to life. This is backing thousands of Australians who make their living working in front of the camera and behind the scenes in the creative economy."

It comes just days after Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate pushed for the tax incentive to be increased to attract more productions to the city's studios.

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Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate wants to bring Baby Yoda and friends to the Gold Coast from a galaxy far, far away.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate wants to bring Baby Yoda and friends to the Gold Coast from a galaxy far, far away.

Cr Tate this week wrote to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney, the bosses of the Star Wars franchise, to try to lure big productions to the Coast.

He pitched the city as a safe haven for US movie networks as the ravaged film industry looks to rebound from COVID-19.

The Gold Coast has established itself as a serious filmmaking location in the past decade, being home to Thor: Ragnarok, San Andreas, Aquaman, Kong: Skull Island andPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has long campaigned for the rate of incentive funding to be increased after a series of confrontations between the state and federal governments in recent years over the need for extra funding to lure moves to the city.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson filming San Andreas on the Gold Coast in 2014.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson filming San Andreas on the Gold Coast in 2014.

The deal effectively increases the tax offset rate from 16.5 per cent to 30 per cent for eligible large budget international productions that film in Australia.

Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said the deal was designed to attract back-to-back productions and establish an ongoing pipeline of work.

Jean-Claude van Damme and Kylie Minogue filmed Street Fighter on the Gold Coast in 1994.
Jean-Claude van Damme and Kylie Minogue filmed Street Fighter on the Gold Coast in 1994.

"The location incentive is an economic multiplier. It will sustain the vitality of Australian screen production and support jobs and local businesses," he said.

"Through this additional commitment, the Government is telling the world that Australia is a desirable destination for screen production with great locations, skilled crews, world-class talent, post-production expertise and state of the art facilities."

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Screen Queensland says the US media landscape is enthusiastic about heading to Australia, having fielded inquiries about $1.2 billion worth of potential film and TV projects.

Production of Baz Luhrmann's untitled Elvis biopic was suspended on March 12 when star Tom Hanks tested positive for COVID-19.

Hanks remains in the US and it is unclear when production will resume.

 

Originally published as $400m deal to create thousands of new jobs


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