Australia’s New South Wales government has backtracked on plans to slash state funding programs, a move that producers said would create a “disaster” for the local industry.
The Made in NSW Fund and the Post Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Fund will be immediately reopened, with pre-existing requirements and terms in place.
Arts minister John Graham said the move had been made after the government secured funding from other budgets within the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade.
The schemes have supported producers of shows ranging from Stan’s Prosper and Amazon’s The Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart to Disney’s Thor: Love And Thunder and Paramount+’s Last King Of The Cross, with the Made in NSW Fund alone providing A$175m ($115m) over five years.
The cuts were proposed earlier this month after the Australian Labor government said it needed to cut A$188m, but producers have won the battle to reinstate the schemes, which the TV and film industry estimate support 30,000 jobs.
Graham used a letter to industry reps to restate that the cuts had been forced on it by the previous coalition administration, which it said had slashed the budget prior to the country’s elections in March.
“We are not revising the financial year 2023/24 budget process. What we are doing is replenishing funds to the level we had expected to account for the increased demand, while we work through the business case for future screen funding.
“What we are giving is commitment and certainty for the sector to continue planning and production in NSW.”
Graham added that a new three-year plan was being explored to provide greater long term stability to the funds.