THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
ABBOTT GOVERNMENT’S THREAT TO LOCAL FILM AND TELEVISION WORKERS
The Abbott Government has begun a process by stealth to undermine Australian actors, performers and the workers who support them.
See Michael Caton’s statements on AM: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2015/s4165561.htm
Last week a discussion paper reviewing visas for foreign workers in the entertainment and cultural industries was posted on the Ministry for Arts website, with no announcement by either the Arts or Immigration Ministers.
The review is a serious threat to Australian film and television workers and their jobs.
Currently foreign workers can be brought in to work temporarily on a project, following the approval of the Arts Minister, consultation with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, and confirmation that the project will bring a net employment benefit to Australia.
This discussion paper canvasses the removal of all those protections, and could see more foreign workers brought in to work on film and television productions.
The starting point for the review is the Abbott Government’s commitment to removing unnecessary regulation in businesses.
Protections for local workers in the entertainment industry are not unnecessary regulation or red tape.
Australian audiences should have access to the best in world culture, but local industry should be encouraged to employ Australian skills and creativity.
The Commonwealth Government subsidises film and television production, so that we can see and hear Australian stories on our screens as well as providing jobs for Australian creative workers.
Australian taxpayers should not have to subsidise jobs for foreign workers.