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CISC needs your help! May. 17th, 2004 @ 12:27 pm
Important - CISC needs your help!

Dear Colleagues

The Creative Industries Skills Council, your voice between Government and the training sector, is under threat and we need your help!

Our primary funding source, the Department of Employment and Training, has indicated that, as of 1 July, new funding models will be applied to ITABs and Skills Councils. The Department appears to be favouring a reallocation of funds away from the CISC to other organisations of between $45,000 and $97,000.

The effects of this on our organisation and our sectors engagement with training, would be quite significant.

What we have asked for is not to receive any increased funding, but to retain our current (2003-04) funding allocation. We base our position on the fact that we have fully complied with DET's requirements to restructure, only to now potentially suffer as a consequence of working closely with the Department to create CISC from three former ITABs.

CISC's Board and Four Industry Standing Committees have met and totally reject DETs position as the basis for any funding reallocation. We now ask you as members, industry colleagues and supporters to do at least one of four things to help to get our point across.

This will take only a minute of your time to do, but it will really, really help our case...Most importantly, we need to let DET know of our position by next Friday (21May) in order to help mount our case to overturn this direction. Do it now, and its done - please dont put it off...

One: Open the attached word document copied below, read it and, if you agree, copy it into a new email message, add you name and send it to these two addresses (The Premier and Minister Barton's Offices):

Hon Tom Barton, MP
Member for Waterford
Minister for Employment, Training and Industrial Relations
6th Floor, Neville Bonner Building, 75 William Street, Brisbane QLD 4000
GPO Box 69, Brisbane QLD 4001 CDE M20
E-mail: etir@ministerial.qld.gov.au


Hon Peter Beattie, MP
Member for Brisbane Central
Premier and Minister for Trade
15th Floor, Executive Building
100 George Street, Brisbane QLD 4000
PO Box 185, Brisbane Albert Street QLD 4002
E-mail: Premiers@ministerial.qld.gov.au

The more emails we send, the stronger the message received. It costs you no time, no stamp and will get there in time.

Two: As above, but add your details and/or other points you may care to make to the word document and attach it to an email and send it to the Minister/Premier. (We can provide additional dot points if you want more detail).

Three: Print the letter out, sign and send it by mail or fax: The contact details are above.

Four: Send/Forward this to your colleagues, members, business partners, and other industry supporters and ask them to do the same.

If you no nothing else, please do steps one and four. If you do nothing, we lose another voice for our sectors and industries...

Call or return email me if you need any more information-were happy to provide this.

I thank all of you in advance who take the 60 seconds to send the email on and out. It is through people like you that sometimes we can make a difference.

Kind regards and thanks again for your support.

Paul Jenkins
Executive Officer
Creative Industries Skills Council Inc
Web: www.cisc.com.au

please note if you would like the original email forwarded on the you email me at email address for artsissues

The Honourable Peter Beattie MP The Honourable Tom Barton MP
Premier Minister for Employment & Training
Brisbane.Central@parliament.qld.gov.au Waterford@parliament.qld.gov.au

Dear Sir

I write to express support for the retention of current funding levels to the Creative Industries Skills Council.

The Department of Employment and Training is currently reconsidering funding arrangements with ITABs and as a result intends to reduce funding to the Creative Industries Skills Council for 2004-05. The proposed funding models financially disadvantage the organisation in ways that are neither fair nor equitable to the Creative Industries Skills Council.

The Creative Industries Skills Council is a key link between the vocational education and training sector, government and industry. Without an effective representative voice, the creative industries will be disadvantaged and underrepresented.

The Council is not asking the Government for any increased funding: It is asking only to retain current resourcing levels in order to do its job effectively, as it has already complied with the requirements of Government in amalgamating and creating a viable organisation from three previously under resourced ITABs.

Any decision to reduce funding to the Council after it has complied fully with government requirements cannot be supported by a Government interested in developing Queensland as the smart state. I ask that you ensure that the Creative Industries Skills Council continues to receive its current funding levels in recognition of its success in meeting government requirements and industry needs.

Yours sincerely

Reality TV - A danger to drama? May. 3rd, 2004 @ 07:24 pm
Film industry chiefs do their block
By Brett Thomas
May 2, 2004
The Sun-Herald

One of Australia's biggest talent agents has blamed the reality television
craze for putting actors out of work and says the industry is on the verge
of implosion.
Martin Bedford, who launched the career of Russell Crowe, said actors were
leaving the country or leaving the industry altogether because of the dearth
of quality roles in Australian television and film.
In recent years, high-profile TV dramas such as Always Greener, White Collar
Blue, Young Lions, Marshall Law, Farscape and Crash Palace have been axed as
their ratings fell inversely to those of reality TV shows such as Big
Brother and The Block.
Meanwhile, local work for actors on big budget, made-in-Australia Hollywood
films has dried up as United States producers are tempted by more
competitive pitches from countries such as New Zealand, Canada and South
"We have the most magnificent breeding ground for actors but, at the moment,
there's nowhere for them to go," Mr Bedford, director of Bedford and Pearce
Management, said.

"The actors no longer have a guarantee they're going to work on a weekly
or monthly basis. Some of our finest actors have not worked for two years on
a major project."
Mr Bedford said many actors now wanted to leave Australia because
television's status as an elite training ground had been compromised by the
fall-off in local drama production.
"We've lost more dramas because of reality television," he said. "The
training ground is not there. A lot of actors now grow up with Home And Away
as their benchmark and they believe they can be themselves rather than the
skilled actor of many, many different facets."
He was backed up by leading casting agent Faith Martin.
"As soon as actors come out of drama school, they're thinking, 'I need to
have a US agent and a manager as well,' " Ms Martin said.
"Essie Davis, who is a brilliant actress, was not doing well here in film so
she went to the UK and won an Olivier award in her first stage performance,
and was in Girl With A Pearl Earring and now she's going to Broadway. Why
would she come back to Australia?"
Mr Bedford said Australia was at risk of losing big stars such as Crowe and
Nicole Kidman forever because the local film industry was fixated on
producing low-budget movies whose cultural value was viewed as far more
important than their potential for making money at the box office.
So concerned was he at the state of Australia's ailing film industry that he
has joined Ms Martin and producer James Mitchell to create a commercial film
fund, aiming to turn Australia's small, mainly government subsidised movie
business into a mini-Hollywood.
"We want to be like Hollywood," Mr Bedford said. "Hollywood has a
multibillion-dollar industry but Australia, we're in with the basket
"We want to create a commercial film fund from investors to allow us to make
films such as The Lord Of The Rings."
The trio want to see a dedicated minister for the movie industry, who will
act as a super salesman for Australia, talking up locations, infrastructure
and talent to attract international filmmakers , particularly from Asia.
"We've got to rebrand ourselves, we've got to become a commercial industry,"
Mr Bedford said.
"We want the investors to know we are international. We are global."

Personally I hate reality television, and I see it as a danger to the entertainment industry in Australia - particularly for actors and writers. The advent of reality television and the proliferation of reality television shows seems to be concurrent with a general dumbing-down of society.

The few television shows that I have enjoyed in recent years have have either very short runs or have been broadcast with little or no consistency. In fact the few shows that appear to have a consistent time slot are realty TV. This hasn't allowed any new shows (drama or otherwise) to generate an audience that will tune in to watch them week after week.

Of course being an actor at the beginning of my career it concerns me that there are fewer non-reality shows being produced - and those that are being produced are not given a fair run (especially on network television). But what is starting to worry me - aside from the lack of work that reality TV has generated is the apparent dumbing-down of the audience. Would a modern television audience be able to appreciate (for example) a good drama that is well written and has intelligent dialogue? Would they be able to understand the subtle nuances that can create a fully rounded character, rather than the caricatures that are too often seen on reality TV?

And what is the future of television and the Australian entertainment industry.

MEAA Labour Day March, Brisbane Australia May. 1st, 2004 @ 05:57 pm
Alliance members are calling for cultural industries to be exempted from the US/Australian Free Trade Agreement at the Labour Day March on Monday, 3 May, in Brisbane. All members are urged to join us on Mary Street in the CBD between Albert and Edward Streets from 9.30am, to start the march at 10am. A family fair day has been organised at the Roma Street Parklands where the march will end. Drinks and a barbecue lunch will be provided for Alliance members and their families.

If anybody wants more information please let me know at artsissues@mail2artist.com

Free Trade Agreement - Australian Cultural Industries Apr. 20th, 2004 @ 11:14 am
Anybody familiar with my journal ronniefaerie may have see the 'Free to be Australian' link and graphic in my bio.

The Free to be Australian campaign was started last year by MEAA, when it was information was released saying that 'cultural industries' would be used as part of the free trade agreement between Australia and the United States. There were several concerns raised such as:

*local content regulations for television and radio

*controlling the immigration of foreign artists and technicians and supporting employment opportunities for Australians

*anything brought in to support this agreement would be binding for all future government

One of the biggest concerns is that there are no allowances made for any new forms of media and that some of the restrictions imposed in the current draft of the trade agreement are restrictive and allow no room for later negotiation - at least no room for negotiation in the favour of the Australian cultural industries.

The Free to be Australian website has more details.


Personally I think this is a bit of a concern. I've read through some of the free trade agreement and there is a lot of ambiguity in the wording... but one of my biggest concerns is that there is so allowance for any future cultural/media industries that may emerge and that the levels suggested for Australian Content on free to air television are going to be set as they are now, with no room for increases. And while the free to air levels of Australian content may be somewhat reasonable, well, you should look at the pay tv level, which are much lower...

As a person trying to start working in the industry (I'm in my final year of a tertiary level acting course), it concerns me that they may be few and few opportunities for people to even try to make a career in the cultural industries.

And to think, this could just be the start.


I'd love to hear any other thoughts and opinions

Welcome to artsissues Apr. 19th, 2004 @ 11:40 am
As the moderator of artsissues I'd like to welcome you to the community. This community was created because I was getting frustrated by the amount of communities (particularly those for film/television and literature) that were being overtaken by fangirls/fanboys and were disintegrating into nothing more than squeeing over whoever the members think is attractive.

I wanted a place where there was an opportunity to talk about anything arts related - from simple things like a good film that has been released or a fantastic new band to more specific arts issues such as gaining funding for work and political decisions that are affecting local and international arts-based industries. I spent some time searching through Live Journal, but couldn't find a place that was exactly what I was looking for so artsissues was born.

The idea behind this community was to have a place for people that are either involved with the arts and those that have an interest in the arts to come for a more serious/adult discussion. A place where people could feel free to debate issues related to the arts and where a review of a film wouldn't be "OMG! leik (insert actors name) is teh hot! see this movie".

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