Is it worth paying $10K each for temporary film industry jobs?

So Captain Nemo is coming to Australia, possibly to the Gold Coast, and the Australian Government will provide a $21 million subsidy, as reported earlier today in the Gold Coast Bulletin (Govt commits $21m for sci-fi film):

THE Federal Government has earmarked $21.6 million for the science-fiction classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to be remade in Australia.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister Tony Burke said the one-off payment to producers Walt Disney Studios would support investment in the local industry and could create up to 2000 jobs.

“The securing of this film is a huge coup for the Australian film industry and for the near 1000 local businesses that will be providing goods and services for the film,” Ms Gillard and Mr Burke said in a joint statement today.

Paying over $10,000 each for temporary jobs on a film production doesn’t seem like a good use of public funds to me when there are so many better uses. Indeed, we’d probably be better off spending $10,000 on a training course for a long-term unemployed person. And if we’re going to subsidise the film industry, we should at least spend the money on films that actually contribute to Australian culture. The value of Captain Nemo to Australian culture is zero. I’ve previously criticised film industry subsidies here:

Government should resist subsidising Disney Nemo film – no long-term benefit to Qld

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2 Responses to Is it worth paying $10K each for temporary film industry jobs?

  1. James Paul says:

    Again… please read my comments on your previous criticism in regards to your views on the Film Industry and please explain in your own words to what has been written by myself and many others that work in this suffering industry. All we are trying to do is survive in tough times so why would you want to inflict pain and suffering within your words towards people, including myself, that are just trying to make a living. Do you not have compassion for people? As I stated in my previous post, if people like myself are forced to look outside of the Film Industry, then that takes possible work positions from others that are unemployed… as are most of the film industry people to date. Also… like I mentioned in my previous posting, isn’t any money that comes in Australia a good thing? I am not an economist, like yourself, but with a $21.6 million subsidy(Holden $200 million… see attached file), payout, handout, gift, donation or whatever…. if Disney only spent a quarter of their $200 dollar budget here in Australia… isn’t that around $38 million dollars that would be spent here? Maybe I should ask a rocket scientist.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      James, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry I didn’t reply to your comment on my previous post. By subsidising film productions we are favouring the film industry over other industries that might use the workers employed on them. Hence I don’t think foreign investments into our film industry fully count as additions to economic activity, because many workers employed in film production would most likely be earning income elsewhere in the economy. Rather than subsidise the film industry to provide jobs, it would be better to invest in the education and training of people who really rely on work in the sector so they can find more sustainable employment.

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