20 May, 2016
The Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) has welcomed a Senate Committee Report that recommends increased government support for the country’s video and online games development industry.
The report by the Senate’s Environment and Communications References Committee makes a number of recommendations including include: a new funding scheme based on the former Australian Interactive Games Fund; a refundable tax offset for Australian expenditure in the development of game titles, similar to the producer offset in the film industry; financial support for work spaces and federal support for dialogue between video games developers and user groups, especially with government departments.
The Senate Committee’s other recommendations include: support for crowdfunding and for the National Broadband Network; guidelines on staffing and employment, especially greater diversity; and using the Export Market Development Grants scheme for businesses in the digital economy.
The Guild’s recently established Games & Interactive Advisory Committee (GIAC) endorses the findings and recommendations of the Senate Committee in support of this important creative industry.
The GIAC’s Chair Teresa Crea says: “Games are a significant medium utilised not only by the entertainment industry, but increasingly for education and training purposes, in sectors as diverse as defence, health and simulation.”
“They are a vital part of the innovation economy and need to be recognised as such,” she says.