A number of Australian government agencies have joined forces and recruited media management consultant Jonathan Olsberg from the UK-based Olsberg SPI to help Australian producers stop living a hand-to-mouth existence between productions and start developing sustainable businesses.

Enterprise Australia has been adapted from similar programs held in the UK and Europe, and is aimed at those producers who are already successfully producing projects for the screen. The focus will be on long-term stability, integration and alliances, and the holy grail of financial strength.

"Cash flow problems frequently push producers into production prematurely, a scenario which is detrimental not only to them but to our industry as a whole," said Kim Dalton, chief executive of the Australian Film Commission.

The other agencies involved are the New South Wales Film and Television Office, Film Victoria, the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, and ScreenWest.

"We want to change the way producers think," said Olsberg. "We want to convert them from defining themselves as individuals who bring projects to the marketplace to defining themselves as individuals who run an ongoing business that brings projects to the marketplace."

Olsberg was a guest several years ago at the annual conference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia. Producers have until August 22 to apply for the program which will take place in November in Melbourne.