The Rebate Issue: A Letter From the Gov'ner

kconference.jpgYes, Minister, we're still talking about this. And we're going to keep talking about it, even though it's quite clear the Government couldn't care less about the Australian games industry.

Good on you to those who wrote to the Minister regarding the issue, and I sincerely hope you get a productive reply. Alas, judging from the letter Oz Kotakuite Martin received in response to his plea, my hopes have been dashed across the stones of uselessness and ignorance like a pair of old trousers.

Need more proof of the Government's distain? From the letter (which was written by one of Minister Coonan's advisors):

The Government's Australian Screen Production Incentive, which was recently enacted, incorporates three components: Producer Offset; Location Offset; and Post, Digital and Visual (PDV) Offset. These ... are paid against a production's Qualifying Australian Production Expenditure (QAPE).

That's great, but what the heck does it have to do with games?

While games are not eligible genres for the new offsets, this does not exclude game developers from providing content to eligible genres. For example, an Australian games developer could be contracted to provide content as a component of a film or television program. Such expenditure could be claimed as QAPE.

So essentially developers are screwed unless they're creating a game for TV or film? The only situation I can imagine where this would actually happen is if a developer was willing to indulge in tax fraud. What if you're making a game based on an Aussie film or show? Doesn't look like that would cut it either.

All I can do is sigh... again. You can see the entire letter after the jump.coonanletter.jpg


    The dignified effect of the suit is kind of undermined by the fact the person in the photo's using a SingStar microphone!

    I am angered that my game adaption of Romper Stomper has been rejected as quickly as my proposal for a Bad Boy Bubby game. "Romper Stomper Melee" was set to be the Smash Bros of Racism. I'm legally barred from describing the BBB game's premise.

    @David Fowles: You could always try and get Russell Crowe on board. They'd have to improve your chances.

    Thanks for the update guys. I'll keep hastling too.

    Dang! Knew I wouldn't be the only one to send this in.

    The Australian Government. Supporting new IP since... Wait.

    As I said last time, Helen Coonan simply has no idea what she's doing. It looks like her staff have even less of a clue than she does.

    Hmm. I wonder what would happen if a VERY large publisher should happen to set up a presence in Australia. A publisher large enough to have its own lawyers and a vested interest in saving money on the production of its games in Australia.

    Do you think the government would listen to a multi billion dollar corporation with a branch in Australia?

    You know, just speaking hypothetically...

    I'm sorry, but how will increasing the labour force in films and television benefit games?

    Don't forget: now we're in election mode, it might be a good time to ping the Labor camp on whether they would support adjusting the Screen Production Incentive scheme to include the Games Industry.

    The fact of the matter is that the liberal government is only good and pandering fear. All it's policies are driven by it and will need it to be re-elected. They are always going to be controled by a select few of religious nuts who think that video games are the revelly and the coming of satin and judgement. This coonan, an over the hill moron (i wish this didn't have to boil down to age, however she is clearly out of touch) who can't even get the telco's to meet and ensure a sound business plan to further Australias broadband, and bring it out of the 20th century. Instead of carrying on about it in obscure online forums let your vote do the talking. The opposition is meeting with the GDAA so maybe they have a better clue.

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