Australia regularly hosts major studio shoots, but the production services industry is vulnerable to big fluctuations. While 2004/05 saw $196.2m in inward investment, the following 12 months saw a drop of to $18.6m.
Ausfilm is funded by the national government, film service companies and state film agencies. It is pressing to improve Australia's tax offset for films spending at least $11.5m (a$15m) by adding flexibility and boosting the refund from 12.5% to 15%.
Previously chief executive of the Irish Film Board, Mark Woodsjoined Ausfilm in 2005.
Why shoot in Australia'
Besides the state and federal financial incentives, it offers the total package. It is a mature industry with Oscar-winning cast and crew, sophisticated infrastructure, and world class digital post. Plus it is safe, secure, cosmopolitan and we speak English.
What could Australia be doing better'
There is widespread recognition that the incentive scheme introduced six years ago needs enhancement.
Which are your biggest competitors'
Our biggest challenge is the rise of US states with increasingly attractive incentives. And there's New Zealand.
What is the biggest misconception'
That Australia is an inordinately long way from Los Angeles. Getting to our east coast from the US is comparable to getting to Eastern Europe and quicker than getting to South Africa.
For producers, what is the deciding factor in where to shoot'
An effective incentive scheme puts you at the table for serious consideration for movies of scale. You are head and shoulders above the rest if your country can be anywhere the producer wants it to be. Then it comes down to the total package.