September 14, 2007
Australia: An agency known as Screen Australia will be formed from the merger of the Australian Film Commission, Film Finance Corporation Australia and Film Australia on July 1 2008. Arts Minister Senator George Brandis released draft legislation which outlines the proposed functions and powers of the new body, together with proposed governance and accountability arrangements and the maintenance of a National Film and Sound Archive. He noted that merger as well as the name of the new agency reflect its new role in promoting the growth of a more competitive Australian screen production industry with improved commercial focus. The government is looking to the new agency to oversee development in areas of public interest including documentaries and children’s programs. A committee has been established comprising senior representatives of the agencies and the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, to oversee implementation and transitional arrangements for the merger. The committee is expected to commence consultations with the industry shortly.