The Options Paper was co-authored by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and Screen Australia, in response to the Government’s request following the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry.
To achieve a robust Australian screen industry, with adequate development, funding and promotion of local content across platforms, the Australian Writers’ Guild recommends the following:
On 8 February 2018, the AWG made a submission to the Inquiry on Australian Content on Broadcast, Radio and Streaming Services.
The AWG submission argued that the government should, through policy intervention, promote and defend Australian culture by supporting Australian screen content. It submitted that the current regulatory framework is fit for purpose, but that it must be updated to be platform-neutral and to create parity between the commercial broadcasters and online content providers, both foreign and domestic, and these claims were supported through two key arguments.
- First, that there is a cultural imperative to tell Australian stories, and
- Second, that broadcasters economically benefit from the current regulatory framework and that they, in return for the commercial benefits they enjoy, should commit to producing local scripted drama and children’s content, thereby giving back to Australian audiences
To read our full submission, please see AWG submission to the Inquiry on Australian Content on Broadcast, Radio and Streaming Services.
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_B...
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
AWG Convergence Review Framing Paper 2011