Screen Tas review unveiled

23 July, 2010 by IF

By Joel Martelli

A Melbourne-based consultancy group has recommended Screen Tasmania streamline its processes, improve transparency and engage with the local industry if it is to realise its long term vision.


The first leg of the independent review, commissioned last September by Tasmania’s Acting Minister for Economic Development, was released this week by the screen agency.

The Nous Group put forward three broad options for the state agency: focus on enterprise development, production activity or local development.

It recommended the first two strategies as the strongest options, while Screen Tasmania said all areas for development would be examined.

“We will be considering a number of other broader issues when developing the final vision and strategy going forward to ensure there is alignment with broader departmental, community and government policies,” the agency said in a statement.

The consultant recommended Screen Tasmania build sustainable businesses – most likely in animation, multimedia, and documentaries; thus attracting an established production company to grow their business in Tasmania.

Other suggestions included focusing on securing major projects for Tasmania which deliver a high level of ongoing production activity and developing Tasmanian projects and people, shepherding through the local production of Tasmanian projects.

Areas that should be improved included: slow decision making, lack of stakeholder engagement, low transparency of decision making, lack of strategy for industry development and lack of communication with other parts of government and the corporate screen industry.

The report outlined a five year vision for the Tasmanian industry and recommended Screen Tasmania implement a framework that provides confidence for the Minister that funding has been allocated in accordance with the Tasmanian Government's objectives.

Screen Tasmania was advised to hold an annual event with all industry practitioners outlining the focus for the year ahead.

The report found that Tasmania’s leverage ratio – a measure of total production spending triggered by its investment – was the lowest of all the state screen agencies. Its ratio was about five last year compared to Victoria at 34.

Screen Tasmania’s funding level is about average (measured on a per capita basis) although stakeholders interviewed for the report believe the agency is undertaking too many activities. They did however acknowledge the contribution that the agency has made to the industry.

The report found that Screen Tasmania’s production investments have recouped very little return, although this is not unusual for Australian screen agencies.

The second stage of the review will be conducted by strategist Geoff Heriot and includes discussions with management and industry.

The full report be completed by October and implemented in the 2011-12 financial year.

The full report can be accessed here.