“There is not a single broadcast or streaming service in Australia that has any requirement to commission Australian children’s programming,” Blue Rocket co-founder David Gurney said.
“Effectively what that’s done is to put 30 companies on the ropes around the country and put thousands of people out of work.”
The Tasmanian based production company, which make shows such as Little J & Big Cuz and Keeko, has now lost an $11 million production which was four years in the making.
Gurney tells ABC all other staff have now been laid off, leaving just himself as part of the 15 year old company.
Gillian Carr from Melbourne production house Moody Street Kids (Kuu Kuu Harajuku) said the removal of the Childrens’ quotas also left them high and dry.
“We want to survive this but we’ve had to scale right back to a skeleton staff,” she said.
“We are already starting to lose studios and it’s incredibly sad because they won’t come back and this enormous talent that’s been built in Australia will be gone forever.”
When the Federal Government restored local quotas for 2021 it was without sub-genres, Drama, Doco and Children’s TV. Last October Childrens’ producers sent a letter to Communications Minister Paul Fletcher warning of impending job losses as a result.
Signatories to the letter were:
A Stark Productions, Ambience Entertainment, Beyond Productions, Blue Rocket Productions, BES Animation, Buster Productions, Cheeky Little Media, Emerald Films, Feisty Dame Productions, Kapow Pictures, Lalor Law, Like A Photon Creative, Ludo Studio, Media World Pictures, Mememe Productions, Moody Street Kids, Ned Lander Media, Pop Family Entertainment, Shiff and Co, Jonathan M. Shiff Productions, Sticky Pictures, SLR, Northern Pictures, Viskatoons.
Carr this week also called on local quotas for Streaming platforms.
“We’re asking that the streamers who dominate the market, who are taking our money as Australians, we’re paying them, but they’re not supporting us.”
This week ACMA reported four streamers -Disney, Netflix, Amazon Prime & Stan- had spent $153m on Australian content in the 2019-20 year, but Screen Producers Australia want to see $360 million in local investment from streamers and clarity around individual contributions by each platform.
You can read more here.