To kick off their campaign for the byelection in the Victorian seat of Batman, the Australian Greens have announced their ideal for the local video game sector – an investment fund to the tune of $100 million.
As reported by the SMH, Greens WA Senator Jordon Steele-John argued that the video games sector was crucial to Australia’s economic effort online, given that the industry generates around $3 billion in revenue locally and approximately $100 billion a year worldwide.
The plan would also make video game developers eligible for tax offsets, currently only available to those in traditional creative industries such as arts, TV and film.
The Greens have advocated for renewed government support for the video game sector since the cancellation of the $20 million Australian Interactive Games Fund, created in 2013 before being scrapped by Tony Abbott’s Coalition government in 2014.
Details about the $100 million investment fund aren’t available at the time of writing. The Greens’ website has their policy towards video games that they took to the 2016 federal election, which called for the expansion of the Producer’s Tax Offset to include developers, and an additional $5 million for co-sharing working spaces.
The parliamentary budget office costed that entire plan at around $158 million over 4 years, primarily due to the expansion of the tax offset.
“For a government so concerned with selling the message of innovation, it is deeply hypocritical to continue to ignore the creative, cultural, and economic contributions of the video games industry,” Senator Jordon Steele-John is quoted as saying.