Film, TV Industry Worth $6.5 Billion to Australian Economy

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Hugh Jackman highlighted Oprah Winfrey's Australia tour during a banner year for film and broadcast there.

Over 40,000 people work in the sector, the AFACT report shows.

SYDNEY -- The Australian film and television industry was worth AUS$6.1 billion ($6.5 billion) to the nation’s economy in 2009/10, with $5.5 billion in direct contributions from the 40,000-plus people working in the sector, according to a report released on Wednesday by consultants Access Economics and commissioned by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

The report assessed the economic contribution of the film and television industry in its entirety — from small production companies through to large distribution and exhibition businesses, and from productions made for online viewing through to those for wide television network viewing.

According to Access, in fiscal 2009-10 the total value added contribution of film and television to the Australian economy was over $6.5 billion and supported 48,667 jobs on a full time equivalent basis. The value added contribution rose 5.1% from $6.2 billion in 2006-07, according to Access. By comparison Access said the aviation industry was worth just $4.4 billion over the same period.

Film producer and distributor Andrew Mackie of Transmission Films, local distributor of The King’s Speech, said the report shows that “the film and television industry is one of the fastest evolving sectors of our economy, providing jobs at the cutting edge of our digital transition. Our professionals are not only developers of valuable intellectual property, but are proving to be internationally competitive in creative and technological fields. They are industries of great value to Australia and well worth supporting.”

“The Access Economics Report is a timely reminder of the value the screen entertainment sector brings to Australia. Content is the key driver of digital economy growth and the film and television industry here is at the forefront of delivering great content on a variety of platforms, world-class innovation and first-rate careers. It is also the reason why we are fully committed and dedicated to promoting and protecting this community that makes a tremendous contribution to the country in more ways than one," Neil Gane, executive director of AFACT added.

The report said the figures were net of $118 million in production subsidies paid by all levels of government in Australia.

Other highlights include:

  • The industry generated a total output of $21.6 billion;
  • The sector contributed an estimated $2.08 billion in tax to the Australian government in 2009-10, rising from $1.9 billion in 2006-07;
  • The total industry supported 48,667 full time equivalent jobs;
  • Free-to-Air TV contributed almost $2 billion in value added;
  • The production sector contributed $911 million in value added;
  • The distribution sector contributed $890 million in value added; and
  • The digital contribution of the film and television industry is estimated to be $4.4 billion.