Question time - creative economy

  • Transcript, E&OE
22 October 2015

Mr VASTA (Bonner) (14:44): Myquestion is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Will the minister update theHouse on what the government is doing to promote jobs, economic growth andinnovation by supporting Australia's creative sector?

Ms JULIE BISHOP (Curtin–Minister for Foreign Affairs) (14:44): I thank the member for Bonner for his question and I know hewill be delighted by an announcement that the Minister for Communications andMinister for the Arts and I made earlier today that the government is creatingopportunities for more jobs and economic growth and is supporting Australia'screative and innovative industries by securing two blockbuster films to beproduced in Australia next year. This government understands that Australia'sprosperity and economic growth depends upon seizing new opportunities. Weunderstand that the government must be flexible and responsive to opportunitiesthat promote investment into Australia and that we must be internationallycompetitive.

Firstly, we have ensured that Walt Disney and Marvel Studios' Thor:Ragnarok, starringour own Chris Hemsworth, will continue to be produced here and will continuethe superhero adventures. I want to thank the executives from Disney and Marvelwho flew from Los Angeles to Canberra for the announcement. Secondly, TwentiethCentury Fox will bring Sir Ridley Scott to Australia in 2016 to direct his next Alien film.These two films are expected to inject over $300 million of offshore investmentinto Australia, deliver many thousands of jobs for Australians and use theservices of more than 6,000 Australian businesses. Film tourism, as mycolleague the Minister for Trade and Investment well knows, is an increasingdrawcard for overseas visitors, so the spin-off for tourism will be significanttoo. We do have the evidence for these expectations.

Pirates of the Caribbean , filmedon the Gold Coast recently, resulted in foreign investment of over $160 millioninto Australia, employed over 2,600 Australians and sourced equipment and goodsand services from over 6,200 Australian businesses across all states. For thisproduction Australian companies created new, innovative technologies that arenow being used around the world, enhancing our international reputation forinnovation. A Melbourne based company, XM2 Aerial, designed drones to carry heavycameras in the production of this film and they are now being used around theworld. Botany Cranes in Sydney developed and manufactured specialised cameraplatforms; they are now being used around the world. On-Crete, a Gold Coastcompany, developed a cement render which revolutionised set building; that isnow being used worldwide.

Screen Australia estimates that the film and television industryis already directly contributing about $5.8 billion to Australian GDP, about46,000 full-time-equivalent employees annually. So producing and filmingblockbusters in Australia will drive our creative industries. This is greatnews for Australian jobs.

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