NSW Govt cuts council red tape on filmmaking

By Brendan Swift

The New South Wales Government is set to curb council powers to unreasonably block filmmakers’ access to local locations.

The new standards are aimed at countering the state’s recent reputation, which has been marred by excessive red tape, while luring interstate and offshore filmmakers in an effort to boost local jobs.

NSW Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts, Virginia Judge, said the Local Government Filming Protocol, which will be implemented on March 30, will see a single set of standards applied by all councils for processing approvals.

“Under the protocol, councils must approve filming applications quickly unless there are exceptional circumstances,” Judge said.

“Council charges for location filming must reflect the cost to the council of the approval and services provided to the filming activity, and filming application fees will be capped.”

The reforms will also include a “smart sites” list, which will provide alternative locations for popular filming areas such as Bondi Beach, and a code of conduct for the film industry to ensure they are sensitive to community concerns.

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