Thursday 17 June 2004


Mr FINCH (Question) - It emerged in the Budget Estimates what an important role Screen Tasmania is playing in organising funding for film projects. It was also good to read in the media that there is an extension of Screen Tasmania's activities into the north of the State. But Screen Tasmania also has a training role, although it is not a training body as such.

Mr Parkinson - How long is this speech going for?

Mr FINCH - It is a five-minute one. Screen Tasmania comes under the Minister for Economic Development and the Arts, while most of the training is appropriately under the Minister for Education. What I would like to ask the Leader is: what efforts are being made to overcome the split in film training between two ministries so that overall training can benefit from Screen Tasmania?

Mr AIRD - I want to thank the honourable member for his question.

Members laughing.

Mr Finch - That is quite okay.

Mr AIRD - It is a terrific question which I do not quite understand nonetheless. I am not exactly sure what the honourable member means with this question but I will endeavour to answer as best I can.

Mr Finch - Now?

Mr AIRD - I will think about that. Can I take that on notice?

Mr Wilkinson - Wide screens, plasma screens.

Mr AIRD - Screen Tasmania is an industry-funding body. Its core aim is to build the screen industry in Tasmania. Most of its funds and time is spent making strategic loans and investments to the industry. As part of this process it sometimes identifies areas of specialised training that are needed immediately and that are not currently provided in the marketplace. For example, it recently ran a documentary pitching course that was designed to assist film-makers to better sell their ideas to broadcasters.

It has run another course called Cut and Polish for several years that is aimed at teaching Tasmanians who are already experienced in writing, the particular skills of writing screenplays. It provides on-the-job training through industry attachments where local film-makers can gain valuable experience on the set of films in production. For example, six young and emerging film-makers received attachments on the production of the short feature film Cable, recently. Because of its position as an industry driver, Screen Tasmania is uniquely placed to identify and operate niche training courses and sees this as a vital role if it is to continue to build the industry as quickly as possible.

Other film training in the State is provided through educational institutions such as Rosny College which offers a course for students, teaching them basic television production skills. The main difference between these types of training is that the Screen Tasmania kind is highly specialised and aimed at immediate industry outcomes, whereas the school model is aimed at entry-level students. This kind of split-level training exists in all other States in the film industry. Overall training in the State for the film industry benefits by having a body like Screen Tasmania able to offer highly specialised and targeted training.

Thursday 17 June 2004