Actors call for local streaming quotas

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Streaming giants like Netflix, Disney and Amazon would be required to reinvest a portion of their revenue into new Australian-made content on the proposal of industry figures.

The Make it Australian campaign, made up of Australian film and television bodies, has called on the federal government to demand a 20% quota on investment in local productions.

While content quotas have been put in place for network television, similar quotas have not been put in place for streaming services.

The campaign was led by Australian film and TV personalities, including actors Bryan Brown, Erik Thomson and Marta Dusseldorp.

Brown said quotas would help strike the right balance when it comes to streaming services.

“(There’s) a lot of revenue from this country that goes to streaming companies…we need some of that dough to go into Australian productions,” he said.

“It will bring tremendous light for the industry and can tell our stories.”

Thomson said quotas for streaming services would allow more Australian stories to be told.

“Half a dozen years ago a lot of our free commercial networks were doing all the drama – that doesn’t happen anymore,” he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

“It’s a new playing field with streamers and we need to make sure they’re required, as commercial networks were, to have a bit of Australian content quota.”

Screen Producers Australia chief executive Matthew Deaner said while the industry has shifted to more streaming, regulation has failed to catch up.

“We’ve been discussing this for 10 years, but we don’t have any regulatory framework on any of the streaming services in Australia,” he said.

“We believe (streaming services) have the ability to spend it, and we know our industry has the ability to do that.”

Mr Deaner said if such quotas were put in place by the government it would bring Australian talent who had to work overseas back into the country for local productions.

“They want to be able to tell authentic Australian stories and with more resources we can do that in Australia.”

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