Conroy Wants Committee On Rebate Issue

kconference.jpgFinally, some uplifting news on the Australian game developer rebate front. Out of a recent meeting this morning between GDAA CEO Greg Bondar and deputy senate leader for the opposition Stephen Conroy, has come the promise that if Labor is elected, Conroy will “establish a high level committee to review the GDAA’s call for a 40% tax rebate for the games industry in Australia”.

Okay, it’s so-so news. There’s no guarantee that anything will happen under a Labor Government – a committee is something you form before a war, not during. However, we know conclusively that nothing will happen if the Coalition is re-elected, and for those hunting desperately for even a foal’s chance of a rebate, this is as good as it’s going to get.

You can read the full release after the jump.

MELBOURNE ” Monday 22 October, 2007 ” Senator Conroy, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, announced this morning that he would establish a high level committee to review the GDAA’s call for a 40% tax rebate for the games industry in Australia if Labor is elected to government.

Senator Conroy met with representatives from the Game Developers’ Association of Australia and CEOs from some of Australia’s major game development companies to discuss the GDAA’s plea for the 40% rebate recently announced for Australia’s film and television industries to be extended to local video game developers.

CEO of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia (GDAA) Greg Bondar said of the Senator’s announcement, “We have been trying for years to get the Australian government to listen to us and recognise the significant contribution that our industry makes to the Australian economy and the potential we have for substantial growth in our industry if we were to benefit from the same sort of rebate as is offered to the Australian film industry.”

“We are thrilled that Senator Conroy is prepared, should Labor be elected to government, to take the time to assess our industry and give sound consideration to our call for a rebate. This is a positive step forward for our industry.”

GDAA President Tom Crago called for the Australian government to reconsider their refusal to extend the rebate to the video game industry. “We want the Government to take another look. This is exactly the type of industry they should be supporting in that it is high growth, highly skilled and almost entirely export focused. We also think it’s about time they recognised the contribution that video games makes to the broader cultural landscape in Australia.”

Senator Conroy met with Gregory Bondar, CEO of the GDAA, Tom Crago, GDAA President and CEO of Tantalus Interactive, Chris Moseley, GDAA Treasurer and CEO of Redtribe and a number of other CEOs including Mike Fegan of IRGurus and Steve Fawkner of Infinite Interactive. The meeting also included a live demonstration for the Senator of some of the latest games being developed in Australia.

“It really is time for our current government to “˜get with it’ and accept just how big this industry is globally,” said Bondar. “We have a chance to make a name for ourselves on the world stage and win significant business if they back our industry in the same way that governments in China, Canada, France and South Korea are doing. It’s time for them to get in the game.”


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