PUBLISHED02 Dec 2021

Documentary’s Voice Heard in Canberra


After a year-long campaign against changes to the Australian Screen Production Incentives - Australian documentary has had a huge win.

Last year, during the Australian International Documentary Conference, Documentary Australia called on the documentary sector and its supporters to urge the Federal Government to reconsider changes to the Australian Screen Production Incentives.

The campaign focused on three main changes to the legislation which would have a significant impact on the sector. Our recommendations were:

– The QAPE threshold to claim the Producer Offset should remain at $500k for feature-length films;

– The QAPE threshold to claim the PDV Offset should remain at $500k; and,

– The Gallipoli Clause should be retained.

What was essentially tax law threatened to wipe out a significant proportion of documentary films – diminishing regional, Indigenous, and minority voices resulting in a considerable cultural loss to the nation.

However, after a year of advocacy – the Government has accepted all our recommendations, protecting documentaries and ensuring the form continues to thrive locally and internationally as sustainable businesses that contribute enormously to our national story.

“This was a huge win for the documentary sector. After nearly a year of lobbying, it is incredible to see our voice heard in Canberra. This campaign has always been about protecting Australian storytelling. Thank you to all the filmmakers and storytellers who signed our letter, made submissions, and got in touch with their MPs. This is a vital, vibrant part of our culture – and it is wonderful to see it protected and recognised by the Federal Government”
Clara Williams Roldan,  Documentary Australia Impact and Education Director.

“I don’t think we were expecting to win, not that this dimmed our fire. The documentary sector is used to feeling overlooked –  so it was enormously reassuring to hear and read the sentiments of support and value articulated by the Government. The articulation from our Parliamentarians that the documentary sector matters is deeply meaningful. And the consequences of this win is that within our stories, marginalised voices are being heard, lived experiences recognised and our culture preserved. Thank you to all who engaged with the issue and to those who listened and acted on the Bill. It was reassuring to hear the whole industry speak with one united voice.”
Dr. Mitzi Goldman, Documentary Australia CEO.

You can read our open letter to the Government and find out more about our advocacy campaign here.