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


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