Proposed Local Content Quotas For Netflix Gives 'Much Hope' For Aussie Industry

27 November 2020 | 1:04 pm | Staff Writer

“We will be studying the green paper carefully, and consulting our members to prepare a submission in response."

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) has welcomed news that the Federal Government is considering a local content quota for Netflix and other streaming services "that currently have no obligation to produce original Australian content".

As SMH reports, Federal Communications and Arts Minister Paul Fletcher is launching a green paper today that outlines the proposed reforms, including a law that would require a percentage of Australian revenue made by streaming services to go back into local content.

“While we need to see more detail within the Government’s green paper, placing a requirement on streaming services to invest a percentage of their Australian revenue in local content gives a devastated local industry much hope for the future.” MEAA CEO, Paul Murphy, said today.

“We will be studying the green paper carefully, and consulting our members to prepare a submission in response.

“Getting this reform right will create thousands of jobs and also benefit audiences for generations to come by bringing more uniquely Australian stories to the screen."

Screen Producers Australia (SPA) CEO Matthew Deaner also applauded the proposal. 

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"After an incredibly hard year for the screen sector which has seen local stories suffer at the hands of content quota suspensions and production shutdowns, this is an exciting and welcome development for Australian audiences, as well as Australian creative workers and independent production businesses," Deaner said.

"Streaming services are now an entrenched part of the Australian entertainment and cultural landscape, deriving huge financial gain from operating here. Now is the time to be taking definitive steps to ensuring they make an appropriate contribution back to Australian audiences.

“Incorporating streaming platforms into the regulatory mix and leveling the regulatory playing field with the free-to-air networks will be crucial to unlocking the growth potential of our industry, delivering more jobs, added exports, extra economic activity and new high quality Australian content for audiences at home and abroad.

“I congratulate the Minister on this announcement. The success of this approach will in large part be determined by the underlying details of the scheme, and we look forward to working with the government on the details of this arrangement in the coming months."

Appearing on ABC this morning, Broden Kelly of Aussie comedy group Aunty Donna, who premiered their sketch comedy series on Netflix earlier this month, added, "It's really important to have an Australian voice legislated into the screen content that we see".

Kelly and fellow Aunty Donna member Mark Samual Bonanno also joined this week's episode of The Green Room with Neil Griffiths podcast.

Stream the full episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts (below) or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.