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Industry Policy & Advocacy

As well as providing services to individual members, the AWG is also about enhancing Australian performance writing as a whole.

In this role, the AWG’s vision is to see performance writing and performance writers thrive as a dynamic and integral part of Australian storytelling; shaping, reflecting and enhancing Australia’s cultural voice in all its diversity.

We work closely with our experienced and highly-regarded members to undertake research, lobbying, advocacy and strategic initiatives on behalf of screen, stage, radio and interactive writers collectively.

The AWG is the voice of performance writers in federal and state governments, industry bodies, sector organisations and the wider community, promoting the role, recognition and reward for performance writing in Australian society and culture.

Latest Developments

Parliamentary Inquiry into the growth and sustainability of the film and television industry


May 26, 2017

Parliamentary Inquiry into the growth and sustainability of the film and television industry On 9 February 2017, the House Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts announced an inquiry into Factors Contributing to the growth and sustainability of the Australian film and television industry. On 31 March 2017, the AWG made a preliminary submission to […]

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Agency head slams copyright changes as ideological and unsound


August 25, 2016

Copyright Agency chair Kim Williams has slammed recommendations to weaken Australian copyright protection as disrespectful, ideologically-motivated and not even good business sense. Speaking at the Melbourne Press Club, the former Foxtel and News Limited boss gave one of his strongest critiques to-date of the recommendations from the Productivity Commission which, if enacted by the Government, could […]

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Featured Campaigns

AWG vs SCREENRIGHTS

On 3 March 2016, the AWG and AWGACS filed a case in the Federal Court of Australia against Screenrights over their failure to fairly protect and represent Australian and international scriptwriters and their rights.  AWG & AWGACS have been forced to take this step as a last resort, following years of negotiation and attempts to resolve the matter.  We believe that Screenrights’ actions had, and continue to have, the effect of denying to writers the royalties that would otherwise have been due to them over decades.

AWG-SCREENRIGHTS Media Release – 7 March 2016

AWG receives international support – 11 April 2016

SCREENRIGHTS Update – 12 May 2016

National Arts Debate 2016

Australian playwrights and screenwriters will put some of the country’s political leaders under the spotlight at a special national debate on arts funding on 8 June 2016 in the run-up to the Federal Election.  Members of the Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) will join professionals from across the nation’s arts, screen and culture sectors at a National Arts Debate at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne organised by ArtsPeak, a federation of national peak arts organisations.

Pollies under the spotlight in National Arts Debate

Productivity Commission Public Inquiry into  Australia’s Intellectual Property Arrangements

Recommendations by the Federal Government’s Productivity Commission to cut copyright protection in Australia would have a devastating impact on the nation’s screenwriters and other authors. The draft recommendations – that include slashing the length of time copyright protects an author’s work from 70 years to as little as 15, together with the introduction of US-style ‘fair use for copyright works – showed the Productivity Commission has a profound lack of understanding of the writing process. The AWG has made submissions to this Inquiry and has urged its members to do the same.

Productivity Commission recommendations could cripple Australia’s creative industries

2015 Federal Budget cuts to the Arts

2015 was a turbulent year for the Arts and artists in Australia. First, the federal government slashed Australia Council’s grants funding and announced the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA). The industry responded with a wave of national protests. The arts community was united and outraged. Senator Ludlum successfully called for a Senate Inquiry into the impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget Decisions on the Arts, which took submissions and held public hearings around the country. In the meantime, the new Minister scrapped the NPEA, partially reinstated funding to the Australia Council and unveiled his own Australian Arts and Culture Fund renamed Catalyst.

NPEA – MIA, Catalyst in Question; Arts funding back to the future_

The Audio Visual Campaign

theaudiovisualcampaign

Writers and Directors Worldwide (WDW) have launched a worldwide campaign under the hashtag #TheAudiovisualCampaign that aims to create awareness and encourage changes in law that will result in a fairer share of income for content creators from films and TV programs. They are inviting Australian writers and directors to look at what is being done internationally to protect creators’ interests.

Campaign spreads for fairer pay for screenwriters and directors

Australian Content

Cartoon

In 2013 the AWG along with the ADG, MEAA and SPAA launched the ‘Australian Screens. Australian Stories.’ campaign to hold the government to account on the findings of its own Convergence Review. We are still fighting the battle for Australian content on Australian screens. Click on the links below to see how the story continues to unfold.

Australian Screens, Australian Stories!

“Keeping Australian Stories On TV Is Vital”, Keeping Conroy To His Word Is The Battle

AWG Calls For Respect For Writers and New Australian Work

New Newspoll Research Shows Six in Ten Australians Want New Australian Content Requirements

First Dog On The Moon on Australian Content

AWG – IF Magazine ­ December 2012

Collecting your royalties

New Screenrights policy slammed as opaque and unreasonable

AWG calls for help in collecting residual payments for members

Past Campaigns

Open letter to the Radio National:ABC Radio Management Team

AWG Theatre Petition 2010

AWG Petition to the Australia Council

Featured Campaigns

AWG vs SCREENRIGHTS

On 3 March 2016, the AWG and AWGACS filed a case in the Federal Court of Australia against Screenrights over their failure to fairly protect and represent Australian and international scriptwriters and their rights.  AWG & AWGACS have been forced to take this step as a last resort, following years of negotiation and attempts to resolve the matter.  We believe that Screenrights’ actions had, and continue to have, the effect of denying to writers the royalties that would otherwise have been due to them over decades.

AWG-SCREENRIGHTS Media Release – 7 March 2016

AWG receives international support – 11 April 2016

SCREENRIGHTS Update – 12 May 2016

National Arts Debate 2016

Australian playwrights and screenwriters will put some of the country’s political leaders under the spotlight at a special national debate on arts funding on 8 June 2016 in the run-up to the Federal Election.  Members of the Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) will join professionals from across the nation’s arts, screen and culture sectors at a National Arts Debate at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne organised by ArtsPeak, a federation of national peak arts organisations.

Pollies under the spotlight in National Arts Debate

Productivity Commission Public Inquiry into  Australia’s Intellectual Property Arrangements

Recommendations by the Federal Government’s Productivity Commission to cut copyright protection in Australia would have a devastating impact on the nation’s screenwriters and other authors. The draft recommendations – that include slashing the length of time copyright protects an author’s work from 70 years to as little as 15, together with the introduction of US-style ‘fair use for copyright works – showed the Productivity Commission has a profound lack of understanding of the writing process. The AWG has made submissions to this Inquiry and has urged its members to do the same.

Productivity Commission recommendations could cripple Australia’s creative industries

2015 Federal Budget cuts to the Arts

2015 was a turbulent year for the Arts and artists in Australia. First, the federal government slashed Australia Council’s grants funding and announced the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA). The industry responded with a wave of national protests. The arts community was united and outraged. Senator Ludlum successfully called for a Senate Inquiry into the impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget Decisions on the Arts, which took submissions and held public hearings around the country. In the meantime, the new Minister scrapped the NPEA, partially reinstated funding to the Australia Council and unveiled his own Australian Arts and Culture Fund renamed Catalyst.

NPEA – MIA, Catalyst in Question; Arts funding back to the future_

The Audio Visual Campaign

theaudiovisualcampaign

Writers and Directors Worldwide (WDW) have launched a worldwide campaign under the hashtag #TheAudiovisualCampaign that aims to create awareness and encourage changes in law that will result in a fairer share of income for content creators from films and TV programs. They are inviting Australian writers and directors to look at what is being done internationally to protect creators’ interests.

Campaign spreads for fairer pay for screenwriters and directors

Australian Content

Cartoon

In 2013 the AWG along with the ADG, MEAA and SPAA launched the ‘Australian Screens. Australian Stories.’ campaign to hold the government to account on the findings of its own Convergence Review. We are still fighting the battle for Australian content on Australian screens. Click on the links below to see how the story continues to unfold.

Australian Screens, Australian Stories!

“Keeping Australian Stories On TV Is Vital”, Keeping Conroy To His Word Is The Battle

AWG Calls For Respect For Writers and New Australian Work

New Newspoll Research Shows Six in Ten Australians Want New Australian Content Requirements

First Dog On The Moon on Australian Content

AWG – IF Magazine ­ December 2012

Collecting your royalties

New Screenrights policy slammed as opaque and unreasonable

AWG calls for help in collecting residual payments for members

Past Campaigns

Open letter to the Radio National:ABC Radio Management Team

AWG Theatre Petition 2010

AWG Petition to the Australia Council

Submissions & Advocacy

Australian and Children’s Screen Content Review

On 28 September 2017, the AWG made a preliminary submission to the Australian and Children’s Screen Content Review requesting that they consider the following:

  • Preserving existing sub-quotas on commercial broadcasters for new Australian scripted drama, children’s content and documentaries;
  • Introduce regulation on subscription video on demand (SVOD), online and telecommunication companies which imposes obligations on them to invest in production and showcase new Australian scripted drama and children’s content;
  • Increase the Producer Offset for television from 20% to 40% and ensure it is clearly and transparently directed toward its proper purpose of supporting Australian originated screen stories;
  • Ensure funding of the ABC and SBS is at a level that enables them to properly support and promote the creation of new Australian scripted drama, children’s content and documentary programming in accordance with their respective charters, and incorporate quotas to ensure clarity and transparency in expenditure or scripted content.

To read our full submission, please see AWG Submission – Australian and Children’s Screen Content Review

Parliamentary Inquiry into the growth and sustainability of the film and television industry

On 9 February 2017, the House Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts announced an inquiry into Factors Contributing to the growth and sustainability of the Australian film and television industry.

On 31 March 2017, the AWG made a preliminary submission to the Committee requesting that the Standing Committee consider the following:

  • protecting existing local content quotas for scripted television and making quotas platform neutral; and
  • ensuring any future refund of licensing fees to the commercial networks comes with an obligation to spend that money on local scripted content; and
  • introducing a tax on new streaming services tied to local content quotas and investment in local scripted television production; and
  • increasing the producer’s offset for television from 20% to 40%; and
  • rejecting the proposed amendments to the copyright law which threaten the livelihoods of Australian writers and dis-incetivise creation and innovation.

Through consultation and collaboration with the Committee and the current government, the AWG will continue to fight for a stronger and more sustainable film and television industry which enables writers and all those engaged within it (not just the producers who are already supported by Screen Australia and the state funding bodies) to better compete for investment and success on the global stage.

To read our full submission, please see  AWG submission – Growth & Sustainability Inquiry 20170331.

Other publicly available submissions can be found at: www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Communications/AustralianfilmandTV/Submissions

The Productivity Commission’s public inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property system

In its submission to the Productivity Commission’s public inquiry, the Australian Writers’ Guild said the industry has outgrown the current copyright system, which provides insufficient protection to performance writers. The AWG is calling for copyright reform to enshrine a right to fair remuneration for authors through an inalienable and unwaivable remuneration right to fair remuneration for the success of their work.

Read our submission and follow up to the Commission’s Draft Report below:

AWG-AWGACS submission to Productivity Commission – 30 November 2015

FURTHER SUBMISSION AWG AWGACS – PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

More information about the Productivity Commission’s Public Inquiry:

Writers urged to defend copyright

Productivity Commission recommendations could cripple Australia’s creative industries

To read our full submission, please see Australia Council budget cuts 2014-2015

NPEA – MIA, Catalyst in Question; Arts funding back to the future?

AWG response to NPEA Guidelines 2015

Australian Writers’ Guild Submission to Senate Inquiry 2015

Convergence Review

AWG Convergence Review Framing Paper 2011

Submissions & Advocacy

Australian and Children’s Screen Content Review

On 28 September 2017, the AWG made a preliminary submission to the Australian and Children’s Screen Content Review requesting that they consider the following:

  • Preserving existing sub-quotas on commercial broadcasters for new Australian scripted drama, children’s content and documentaries;
  • Introduce regulation on subscription video on demand (SVOD), online and telecommunication companies which imposes obligations on them to invest in production and showcase new Australian scripted drama and children’s content;
  • Increase the Producer Offset for television from 20% to 40% and ensure it is clearly and transparently directed toward its proper purpose of supporting Australian originated screen stories;
  • Ensure funding of the ABC and SBS is at a level that enables them to properly support and promote the creation of new Australian scripted drama, children’s content and documentary programming in accordance with their respective charters, and incorporate quotas to ensure clarity and transparency in expenditure or scripted content.

To read our full submission, please see AWG Submission – Australian and Children’s Screen Content Review

Parliamentary Inquiry into the growth and sustainability of the film and television industry

On 9 February 2017, the House Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts announced an inquiry into Factors Contributing to the growth and sustainability of the Australian film and television industry.

On 31 March 2017, the AWG made a preliminary submission to the Committee requesting that the Standing Committee consider the following:

  • protecting existing local content quotas for scripted television and making quotas platform neutral; and
  • ensuring any future refund of licensing fees to the commercial networks comes with an obligation to spend that money on local scripted content; and
  • introducing a tax on new streaming services tied to local content quotas and investment in local scripted television production; and
  • increasing the producer’s offset for television from 20% to 40%; and
  • rejecting the proposed amendments to the copyright law which threaten the livelihoods of Australian writers and dis-incetivise creation and innovation.

Through consultation and collaboration with the Committee and the current government, the AWG will continue to fight for a stronger and more sustainable film and television industry which enables writers and all those engaged within it (not just the producers who are already supported by Screen Australia and the state funding bodies) to better compete for investment and success on the global stage.

To read our full submission, please see  AWG submission – Growth & Sustainability Inquiry 20170331.

Other publicly available submissions can be found at: www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Communications/AustralianfilmandTV/Submissions

The Productivity Commission’s public inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property system

In its submission to the Productivity Commission’s public inquiry, the Australian Writers’ Guild said the industry has outgrown the current copyright system, which provides insufficient protection to performance writers. The AWG is calling for copyright reform to enshrine a right to fair remuneration for authors through an inalienable and unwaivable remuneration right to fair remuneration for the success of their work.

Read our submission and follow up to the Commission’s Draft Report below:

AWG-AWGACS submission to Productivity Commission – 30 November 2015

FURTHER SUBMISSION AWG AWGACS – PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

More information about the Productivity Commission’s Public Inquiry:

Writers urged to defend copyright

Productivity Commission recommendations could cripple Australia’s creative industries

To read our full submission, please see Australia Council budget cuts 2014-2015

NPEA – MIA, Catalyst in Question; Arts funding back to the future?

AWG response to NPEA Guidelines 2015

Australian Writers’ Guild Submission to Senate Inquiry 2015

Convergence Review

AWG Convergence Review Framing Paper 2011

The National Voice

THE NATIONAL VOICE 2017

AWG Report: More Australian plays being staged, but female writers continue to miss out

The National Voice, a major survey of Australia’s 10 largest theatre companies, has concluded that while more original Australian plays are being produced than three years ago, there is still a shortfall when it comes to balance between male and female Australian playwrights.

Download the full report HERE.

THE NATIONAL VOICE 2016

THE NATIONAL VOICE 2016 marks a drop in local works and plays by women

Efforts to get more Australian works and plays by women in the nation’s major theatres took a step backwards in 2016, according to new figures just out.

The National Voice 2016, a survey of trends in Australian theatre programming, reveals a decline in both areas compared with 2015, the first year the survey was conducted by the Australian Writers’ Guild.

Download the full report HERE.

THE NATIONAL VOICE 2015

Playwrights have called for better monitoring of new works that are commissioned, developed and produced by the Australian Theatre sector.

To this end, the Australian Writers’ Guild is pleased to present its first quantitative analysis of our national main-stage ecology, revealing who did what in the 2015 season.

Click here for your copy, and we’ll let the statistics speak for themselves.

The National Voice and Australian Writers’ Guild Ltd is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

The National Voice

THE NATIONAL VOICE 2017

AWG Report: More Australian plays being staged, but female writers continue to miss out

The National Voice, a major survey of Australia’s 10 largest theatre companies, has concluded that while more original Australian plays are being produced than three years ago, there is still a shortfall when it comes to balance between male and female Australian playwrights.

Download the full report HERE.

THE NATIONAL VOICE 2016

THE NATIONAL VOICE 2016 marks a drop in local works and plays by women

Efforts to get more Australian works and plays by women in the nation’s major theatres took a step backwards in 2016, according to new figures just out.

The National Voice 2016, a survey of trends in Australian theatre programming, reveals a decline in both areas compared with 2015, the first year the survey was conducted by the Australian Writers’ Guild.

Download the full report HERE.

THE NATIONAL VOICE 2015

Playwrights have called for better monitoring of new works that are commissioned, developed and produced by the Australian Theatre sector.

To this end, the Australian Writers’ Guild is pleased to present its first quantitative analysis of our national main-stage ecology, revealing who did what in the 2015 season.

Click here for your copy, and we’ll let the statistics speak for themselves.

The National Voice and Australian Writers’ Guild Ltd is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

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