Jan 21, 2015

Local film and television workers under threat

Inner West actors, performers and those in the artistic sector could soon see their jobs under threat as the Abbott Government undermines them by a process of stealth.

Last week a discussion paper reviewing visas for foreign workers in the entertainment and cultural industries was posted on the Ministry for Arts website.

There was no announcement by either the Arts or Immigration Ministers and it was left to the sector to discover the news themselves.

The Inner West is a vibrant diverse community.

It is home to more actors, performers and artistic workers than any other area in Australia.

Australian audiences are fortunate to have access to the best in world culture.

At the same time local industry should be encouraged to employ Australian skills and creativity.

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.