Ms DAWKINS question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
The announcement of the 2016 closure of Wide Angle Tasmania is a blow to the production of film in Tasmania. The 10-year-old not-for-profit company which fosters art production through providing advice, training, access to equipment and networks is seen as a barometer for funding cuts to the arts. Coming the same day as the Attorney-General's immensely successful screening of part 1 of the Kettering Incident the closure is put clearly into focus. The brilliant Kettering Incident would not have local production content without an organisation like Wide Angle for artists to cut their teeth on. With all eyes on Tasmania, will you commit to funding Wide Angle Tasmania and ensure its viability into the future?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I affirm that the Tasmanian Government has been a strong supporter of Wide Angle Tasmania for some time and has provided it with annual funding since its inception which was around a decade ago. The minister informs me she has met with Wide Angle Tasmania and has affirmed our appreciation for what the organisation does for emerging film makers and the screen industry in Tasmania.
The decision by Screen Australia to cease funding in 2016 is in our view extremely regrettable. I and the minister have written to the federal minister seeking special consideration for continued funding. The minister has raised this issue with our federal colleagues. We regard this as a disappointing decision and following the decision by Screen Australia to cease funding to all Australian screen resource organisations, Screen Tasmania proposed working with Wide Angle Tasmania that would see them be in a position to continue to operate.
Wide Angle Tasmania received $80 000 in Screen Tasmania funding in 2015 and an offer has been made to provide $40 000 in funding for the first six months of 2016. This funding would allow Wide Angle Tasmania to work with Screen Tasmania to develop a viable business plan enabling it to operate without Australian Government funding. Wide Angle Tasmania has advised that following this interim funding and the development of a business plan it would be encouraged to make a new funding submission to Screen Tasmania. Unfortunately, Screen Tasmania was advised yesterday that Wide Angle Tasmania had chosen to reject this offer and instead cease operations. Screen Tasmania will continue to provide funding support to emerging film makers and will consider how best to do so to ensure continued growth in the State's screen industry.