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ABC signs MOU with Indonesian National Public Television Network

The MOU jointly recognises the role of the ABC and TVRI as national broadcasters in their respective countries and serves as an expression of the ABC’s commitment to collaboration and cooperation with TVRI.

Absence of streaming regulation causing Screen Sector angst

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Screen Producers Australia has welcomed the release of the Interim Report of the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee Inquiry into Australia’s National Cultural Policy.

Part of the report was the recommendation that the Australian Government prioritise the introduction of its legislative reforms for local content requirements for streaming services, to redress the power imbalance between global streaming companies and local screen producers and artists.

“As we draw nearer to the publicly announced start date of 1 July 2024 for this long-awaited and critical regulation, the industry is becoming increasingly concerned that legislation has not yet been put forward,”

said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

“As SPA told the Senate Committee last month, while we’re waiting, conditions for Australian screen businesses and consequently their workforce are deteriorating due to a noticeable freezing in commissioning, which is creating a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. There’s a growing sense of crisis in the local industry without this reform being in place.

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Matthew Deaner, Screen Producers Australia CEO (image – SPA)

“We are deeply concerned that US-based streaming businesses are exerting political pressure on the Australian government by weaponising the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement behind the scenes. The heavy involvement of DFAT in this policy development, which was confirmed in the Senate hearing on 16 April 2024, and a media report in The Australian newspaper in February points to the AUSFTA as one of the likely causes of the delay.  

Independent legal advice sought by SPA and provided to the Government has found no legal obstacle to regulation due to the AUSFTA, irrespective of the model adopted. In the same Senate hearing, the Office of the Arts confirmed that the policy has been the subject of legal advice from DFAT on the issue of the FTA.

REVIVE Australia’s Cultural Policy (image – supplied)

“Australians should be alarmed at claims that the Australia-US free trade agreement could now be being deployed to attempt to constrict the Australian Government from introducing laws to ensure audiences have access to Australian stories on powerful digital streaming platforms like Disney+, Netflix, and Prime Video as was promised in the National Cultural Policy Revive.

“The Australian Government must continue to and always act in the best interests of Australian audiences and our industry and bring forward robust legislation as a matter of urgency,” said Deaner.

The National Cultural Policy: Interim report can be found here.

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Kyle Laidlaw
Kyle Laidlaw
An avid media enthusiast of more than 10 years, Kyle regularly follows all things TV related, both in Australia and overseas with a particular interest in local free-to-air scheduling and new show commissions.
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Latest Stories

ABC signs MOU with Indonesian National Public Television Network

The MOU jointly recognises the role of the ABC and TVRI as national broadcasters in their respective countries and serves as an expression of the ABC’s commitment to collaboration and cooperation with TVRI.

WATCH | First look at new season and judging lineup for THE VOICE AUSTRALIA 2024

The spectacular combination of brand-new coaches LeAnn Rimes, Adam Lambert, Kate Miller-Heidke and returning coach Guy Sebastian promises a season filled with phenomenal performances, emotional moments and life-changing opportunities.
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