Government extends TIF until June 30

The federal government has announced a new six-month extension of the $ 50 million Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF) as the screen industry faces the reality of “living with COVID.”

Previously slated to end on December 31, 2021, the fund will now expire on June 30, providing security for productions amid the last peak of cases.

This is the second time that the deadline has been pushed back for the provident measure, which was introduced to help producers set up and finance their projects in the absence of COVID from insurance coverage.

Under the TIF, up to 60% of a project’s total budget, or $ 4 million (whichever is less), will be available if a COVID-19 event occurs in the last two weeks of pre-production or during principal photography.

Although 77 requests for coverage have been approved under the TIF to date, none of the affected projects have been delayed due to key personnel who contracted COVID, meaning the fund amount is still $ 50 million. dollars.

Screen Producers Australia (SPA) lobbied to keep the fund available until 2022, citing extensions to similar programs in the UK and Canada.

Welcoming the announcement, CEO Matthew Deaner said the organization was grateful for the strong support the government has provided to the sector through the establishment and expansion of the fund.

“The TIF has helped ensure business continuity in the sector during the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated challenges in the finance market,” he said.

“Our advice to the government has been that the challenges arising from COVID-19 associated with the market confidence associated with funding Australian content are persistent and will continue.

“This means that the underlying market failures that justified the creation of TIF are still in place and likely will be for some time to come. “

In a statement to IF late last year, a government spokesperson said emergency COVID measures would be “until the end” as businesses resume normal operations, and would be replaced by “state and territory support and other industry measures”.

The following weeks were characterized by a sharp increase in COVID cases, with the country registering nearly 100,000 new infections in the last 24-hour testing period.

Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said the government was happy to help productions navigate an uncertain climate.

“Since the launch of the TIF in August 2020, the Morrison government has played a vital role in giving the industry confidence that COVID-19-related roadblocks would not derail the production of quality Australian films and television,” a- he declared.

“With the fund, the Morrison government has made it possible for productions to obtain funding so that local actors and crews can continue working and the businesses associated with these productions can continue to operate.

“The display industry is a key driver of economic growth, and this type of bond supports recovery and investment. Our continued support has enabled the Australian screen industry to keep thousands of people employed and to continue to produce high quality local content.