In a bid to better support local media and enhance the range and quality of content available in the country, Australia’s government is proposing new reforms to modernize the Aussie television landscape.
As part of the proposed reforms, streaming services would be required to invest a percentage of their Australian revenue on local content, either in the form of commissions, co-productions or content acquisitions.
The bill is similar to one introduced in Canada recently that would bundle streamers like Netflix and Disney+ under the Broadcast Act, and require them to contribute to the creation and distribution of local content.
Australia’s Media Reform Green Paper is entering into a consultation period from November 27 to March 7, 2021.
Screen Producers Australia has come out in support of the reforms, with CEO Matthew Deaner saying in a statement that it was a welcome development after a year of quota suspensions—including the permanent scrapping of kids quotas—and production shutdowns.
Meanwhile, ABC Australia announced it was launching two new kids shows in 2021. Produced in-house, The Wonder Gang introduces preschoolers to the art of finding facts through inquiry, observation and experimentation with the help of a group kids and quokkas. Prasan de Silva and Mick Elliot are producing the 35 x 11-minute series, with Natalie Robinson-Hurst attached as producer and Jan Stradling serving as EP.
The public broadcaster also picked up Mikki vs. the World (pictured), about a newly qualified psychologist setting up her own practice. Produced by ABC Production, the 15 x 24-minute show that explores mental health issues will air on ABC ME. Sandra Welkerling is supervising producer, Harry Lloyd is lead producer and Matt Gibb is senior producer, with Mary-Ellen Mullane on board as executive producer for ABC. International distribution for both series will fall to ABC Commercial.