The Australian Government hasdelivered on an election promise to boost its backing for the local filmindustry.

Film Finance CorporationAustralia (FFC) will receive A$70.5 million for independent film and televisionproduction in 2005/06, including an additional A$10 million earmarked forfeatures.

This will equate to aboutA$40m that can be set aside for backing films.

The Howard Government alsodelivered on its promise to development agency the Australian Film Commission,including an additional A$5 million per year over the next three years to gotowards better scripts and low-budget feature production.

This will push the AFC'sbudget to over A$25 million in 2005/06. There are also gains for the NationalFilm and Sound Archive, which is now under the AFC umbrella.

While SBS Independent, thecommissioning arm of the public broadcaster, doesn't run out of money untilthis time next year, it has been given the security of knowing it will getfunding for another four years from June 2006. The annual funding has beenslightly increased to A$9.1 million, some of which will flow into features.

The Government has confirmedits intention to relocate the Australian Film, Television & Radio School closer to the centre of Sydney as a way of improving training and industry participation.

In all, the extras that have flowed from the Liberal/National Coalitionas a result of last year's election amount to $88 million over four years, withFilm Australia, Ausfilm and private investors in film also benefiting.