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Australian Parliament report calls for renewed game industry funding

Australian Parliament report calls for renewed game industry funding

April 29, 2016 | By Christian Nutt

A new report issued by the Australian Parliament's Senate Environment and Communications References Committee recommends the reinstatement of the canceled $20 million ($15.2 million U.S.) fund for game development. 

It's the product of research by a committee formed to investigate what the country can do to bolster its game development industry. It further recommends tax breaks as "an effective way to support the continued growth of mature game development studios" that had outgrown the initial funding or grant efforts. 

The Australian government currently offers such tax incentives for film production, and "the committee was mindful of the apparent inconsistency in the treatment of video game developers and other creative industries that stride between arts and commerce, such as the film industry," according to the report, which stretches to 96 pages.

The funding and tax breaks are the biggest news, but the committee also recommends assisting in the creation of regional shared working spaces, boosting the serious games business (such as games for health care and education), potential tax breaks for developers that crowdfund, the adoption of diversity initiatives, and the improvement of the country's broadband internet infrastructure.

"Government should do all it can to give the industry a jump start, in the form of grants, low-interest loans and tax offsets to foster the growth of a local industry, and to ensure that local talent stays local," said Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said in a statement posted to his political party's website, which outlines the findings of the report.

You can download and read the entire 96-page report as a PDF if you'd like to know more.

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