Dora the Explorer set to wander away from Australia over tax offsets
Written on the 15 March 2018 by Ben Hall
Queensland's screen industry says it is at risk of losing a major US production being filmed in Australia as it calls on the federal government to urgently increase its tax offsets for foreign productions.
Screen Queensland says the makers of the film Dora the Explorer are just "days away" from walking away from a deal to film in Australia but may be swayed to changing its mind if the federal government's Location Offset was increased from its current 16.5 per cent to 30 percent.
Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira says the stakes are high and landing the deal could create thousands of local jobs.
"We only have a short window of opportunity to put a more competitive deal on the table and secure our next international production," says Vieira.
"Queensland is fortunate to have a supportive Premier and state government who are going above and beyond in offering incentives to attract international productions. However, we can't do it alone and need the Australian Government to increase the Location Offset or we lose another major film.
"Australia now has the lowest location incentive in the world and as such we are missing out on big productions and thousands of jobs."
Vieira says without an increase to the federal Location Offset, Queensland stands to lose its third major production in as many years.
Blockbuster reboot Tomb Raider was looking to film in Queensland but ended up shooting in South Africa, which offers a 30 per cent location offset, along with the The Fast and Furious spin off which also went to another foreign territory.
On a recent trade mission to the US, the Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk and Vieira, met with all the major studios who made it very clear that unless the federal Location Offset is increased, Queensland risks having no more large-scale productions.
"This is not about giving big Hollywood studios money, but rather it's about creating real jobs and investing in Queensland people and businesses and creating pathways for younger people coming out of university," says Vieira.
"What countries like New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and of course the US realise is that by offering higher incentives for offshore productions, they help their local industry by creating jobs, retaining and upskilling crew, and building infrastructure. They also generate post production, digital visual effects and animation work."
In the last year, Screen Queensland has invested in local television series including Harrow, Safe Harbour and Grace Beside Me as well as Jonathan Shiff's major television production The Bureau of Magical Things.
Screen Queensland has also supported the third season of the SBS comedy The Family Law recently wrapping in Brisbane, Bronte Pictures' Escape and Evasion currently filming on the Gold Coast, and Tidelands, the first Netflix Original Series to be commissioned and made fully in Australia by Brisbane-based Hoodlum.
Queensland has established a significant pipeline of back-to-back international production including Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok, Kong: Skull Island, Pacific Rim Uprising, Jungle, The Shallows, At Last, Guardians of the Tomb and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Business News Australia
Author: Ben Hall