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Could coronavirus mean less Aussie content on the TV?

The Federal Government has temporarily suspended local content quotas for new Australian drama, documentary and children’s programs until at least the end of the year as part of the response to COVID-19.

The crisis has effectively halted production of Australian content, making it impossible for quotas to be met on TV.

Australian actress Noni Hazlehurst and Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner joined The Weekend Catch-Up where they told Mark Gibson Australian content is crucial.

“It’s absolutely crucial in defining our cultural identity, said Ms Hazlehurst. “Our programming is respected and loved and bought and screened throughout the world.”

Another blow to the industry is the transient nature of the work. Mr Deaner says many people in this industry are in “short-term jobs” meaning the many fall through the cracks when it comes to packages like JobKeeper.

“People get the impression this industry is a big red carpet glamour strip.

“But really it’s not like that behind the scenes. It’s a grotty, hard working, salt-of-the-earth sector in which people are now totally put of work for the first time in a quite a long time in their careers

“They really do need the public support to help get this industry back up off its knees.”

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Harvey Deegan