FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY
The Hon. EDDIE OBEID:
My question is addressed to the Minister for State Development. Will the Minister please inform the House about the Government's latest efforts to support the development of a world-class film industry in New South Wales?
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD:
The Government is committed to building our film and television production sector, and creative industries are one of five key sectors we are currently targeting for growth. New South Wales is Australia's leading State for film and television production. Our State is home to 1,400 film and television production companies representing 56 per cent of the national total, and generates 55 per cent of the sector's wages and salaries. New South Wales has developed a very strong competitive advantage in the post, digital and visual effects sector—known as the PDV sector. Our State has 73 per cent of the nation's PDV businesses, 56 per cent of the jobs and generates 66 per cent of its wages and salaries. These are high-wage, high-skilled jobs.
Earlier this month the Government announced that it had helped to secure in Sydney the making of a sequel to the Academy award-winning digital movie Happy Feet
as well as the establishment of a world-class digital movie production facility. The state-of-the-art digital production facility will be established in a joint venture by Kennedy Miller Mitchell, which is the production company behind the original Happy Feet
, as well as other major hits including Babe
and Mad Max
, and Omnilab Media, which is Australia's largest privately owned content development and media service business. The new digital production company called Dr D will provide a new international film production base for Sydney. Happy Feet 2
will be the first movie to be produced by Dr D. This major production will employ an average of 438 people over three years, including about 230 computer-generated imaging [CGI] artists.
As well as Happy Feet 2
major ongoing film work will be generated for Sydney by the Dr D investment. Kennedy Miller Mitchell already has a number of other large budget international film projects in the planning or pre-production stage. The securing of Dr D's production facility will firmly cement New South Wales as the leading Australian base for digital movie making. Together with Happy Feet 2
it will provide a major boost to our film and creative industries over the next five years and beyond. This will provide ongoing skills development and employment opportunities for New South Wales film industry workers, and create the right conditions to attract ongoing film production work to New South Wales.
The New South Wales Government helped to secure Happy Feet 2
and Dr D's production base through a payroll tax assistance package. It follows an announcement in April that the Government had helped secure the major digital movie Guardians of Ga'Hoole
as well as digital media company Animal Logic's headquarters in Sydney. These announcements are part of the Government's ongoing efforts to rebuild the New South Wales film and television production sector, which included the introduction of our film friendly package of initiatives in June this year. Of course, the movie currently capturing headlines at the moment is Baz Luhrmann's Australia
. While Australia
was filmed in New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, all of the studio work was carried out here in Sydney at Fox Studios. I had the privilege to go out and watch some of it.
Most of the post-production work was done in Sydney. The New South Wales Government provided a payroll tax rebate to help secure production and post-production of Australia
in Sydney. The production employed at least 1,000 people in New South Wales and has led to significant new investment in facilities. New South Wales companies involved in the post-production included Animal Logic, Fuel vfx, Trackdown, Cutting Edge, Stage One Sound, Frame Set and Match, PostModern and The Lab. The film Australia
also will be the centrepiece of promotional activities at G'Day LA in January with the Department of State and Regional Development, and Tourism NSW working to leverage this movie.