Ac­tion on film­ing strat­egy

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

CAIRNS Re­gional Coun­cil is mov­ing to stream­line the process for film­ing in the re­gion.

It is es­ti­mated that $40 mil­lion was spent by pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies in the Far North in the past three years.

Coun­cil’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and in­no­va­tion man­ager Fiona Wilson has de­vel­oped a new film­ing/ photography pol­icy, which su­per­sedes the former Dou­glas shire’s pol­icy.

The pol­icy was ap­proved at yes­ter­day’s coun­cil meet­ing.

“This in­cludes a sin­gle point of con­tact and be­ing able to con­tact them at any time and a re­ally easy ap­pli­ca­tion process,” she said.

“It’s a prac­ti­cal strat­egy to look at how easy and seam­less it can be to film here and through that look at what the in­dus­try needs to be sup­ported while film­ing here.

“Look at Reef Doc­tors, it not only pro­files the re­gion but it’s also do­ing busi­ness while it’s tak­ing place, like ac­com­mo­da­tion

(over 65 rooms in three lo­cal ho­tels), char­ter boats, cater­ers and land­scap­ing.”

Divi­sion 10 coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu said the new film­ing/photography pol­icy is ba­si­cally the same as the old pol­icy with a cou­ple of up­dates.

“It’s al­ways been an im­por­tant as­pect for Dou­glas with so many films, doc­u­men­taries and TV pro­grams made in the area and feed­back has al­ways been crew and cast re­ally en­joyed stay­ing in the re­gion,” she said.

“It’s amaz­ing free ad­ver­tis­ing for us around the world. “There’s been some talk about while there are

beau- ti­ful lo­ca­tions out­side, some­times there is a need for a stu­dio and wouldn’t it be great if there was a stu­dio in the re­gion.”

A stu­dio might be a pos­si­bil­ity in the fu­ture but Ms Wilson said the re­gion will not be turn­ing into an Aussie-style Hol­ly­wood.

“It’s not any­thing like say­ing we are Hol­ly­wood, let’s take it in stages and look at what we can do and look at in­dus­try needs,” Ms Wilson said.

“Within that we can ad­dress what in­fra­struc­ture, sys­tems and busi­ness ca­pa­bil­i­ties are needed-take a whole in­dus­try look and sup­port it as a good eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity for this re­gion.”

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