The Australian government has called for applications fromlocal companies interested in winning a licence giving them the right to raise$15.5m (A$20m) over the next two years for investment in the film andtelevision industry.

Investment inproduction in Australia already delivers a 100% tax deduction but under theFilm Licensed Investment Company (FLIC) Scheme there is less risks associatedwith getting the deduction, which applies as soon as investors buy into thescheme.

The announcement was made by the Minister for the Arts andSport, Senator Rod Kemp, who said the government was"committed to arresting thedownturn in the local film and television sector".

But the industryhas had to wait longer that it would have liked for the government to implementthe scheme - less than half a possible $31m was raised five years ago under apilot scheme - and there is disappointment that it has been capped at $15.5mand that only one licence is to be granted.

"It will be atough task raising the money under the terms stipulated and we will probablynot apply," Content Capital chief executive Tim Benjamin told Content Capital was one of the twocompanies that initially won a FLIC licence. The other, Macquarie FilmedEntertainment, did not return calls by press time.

"The successful applicant will need toshow strong connections to, and understanding of, the local film productionsector as well as demonstrate a robust strategy for investment," said Kemp."Its business plan will highlight an intention to invest funds raised in arange of productions with opportunities for both commercial and criticalsuccess. Productions must be Australian and the FLIC will have regard to localand international audience appeal."