Sydney is set to get another major film and TV studio, including the country's biggest single soundstage.
A development application has been lodged with the local Sutherland Council for the construction of four film and two television studios within an existing industrial estate in the southern Sydney suburb of Kurnell.
"This would be the biggest complex in Sydney after Fox Studios," said property developer Paul Williams about the 10,000 square metres-plus of new stage area. "We hope to have the development approved by the end of January 2003 and plan to start work immediately."
He has enticed Kingston Anderson away from the New South Wales Film and Television Office to be chief executive of the new Serenity Cove Studios, which has one stage which will be over 3,500 square metres and more than 18 metres in height. The plans also include production offices, workshops, make-up and wardrobe areas and accommodation for permanent businesses.
Industry insiders believe that the new studio complex would attract even more international and 'runaway' productions, rather than competing with existing facilities.
New South Wales premier Bob Carr says the film, television and video industry is now worth $2.3bn (A$4bn) to the state economy annually and accounts for 55,000 direct and indirect jobs.
"At any one time around the world, there is $5.6bn (A$10bn) in film production seeking locations," he proclaimed. "The quality of our crews, our locations and our infrastructure makes us an appealing filming destination and the availability of up to six new studios will make us even more competitive."