In 2007 our industry was one the Government saw as full of potential, but with the recent funding cuts and grant cancellations it’s not unreasonable to think the sector has since been overlooked. However it appears that we have not been forgotten; just last week WA’s very own Senator Scott Ludlam, co-deputy leader of the Australian Greens, successfully proposed a Senate Inquiry on what the government can do to better support the Australian games industry.
“Five years ago, Australia had a burgeoning video game development sector employing thousands of talented people in this rapidly growing industry.” Noted Senator Ludlam. “Internationally, companies have experienced strong growth thanks to smart government support and favourable regulatory settings.
“In Australia, no such luck: the sector has been treated like the poor cousin of the creative industries, culminating in the Abbott Government’s decision to close the $20 million Australian Interactive Games Fund, just 12 months after it was established.”
The Inquiry will focus on the future of the Australian (video) game development industry, with specific reference having been made to:
- (i) how Australia can best set regulatory and taxation frameworks that will allow the local video game development industry to grow and fully meet its potential as a substantial employer,
- (ii) how Australia can attract video game companies to set up development operations in Australia and employ local staff,
- (iii) how export opportunities from Australia‘s local video game industry can be maximised, and
- (iv) any other related matters.
Public hearings will be conducted as part of the Inquiry, and more information on dates for submissions will be released soon. The Inquiry itself will be conducted by the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications, and the report date is set for April 2016.
For more information on the Inquiry announcement, check out the Green’s official press release.