Mr VASTA (Bonner) (14:44): My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Will the minister update the House on what the government is doing to promote jobs, economic growth and innovation by supporting Australia's creative sector?
Ms JULIE BISHOP (Curtin—Minister for Foreign Affairs) (14:44): I thank the member for Bonner for his question and I know he will be delighted by an announcement that the Minister for Communications and Minister for the Arts and I made earlier today that the government is creating opportunities for more jobs and economic growth and is supporting Australia's creative and innovative industries by securing two blockbuster films to be produced in Australia next year. This government understands that Australia's prosperity and economic growth depends upon seizing new opportunities. We understand that the government must be flexible and responsive to opportunities that promote investment into Australia and that we must be internationally competitive.
Firstly, we have ensured that Walt Disney and Marvel Studios' Thor:Ragnarok, starring our own Chris Hemsworth, will continue to be produced here and will continue the superhero adventures. I want to thank the executives from Disney and Marvel who flew from Los Angeles to Canberra for the announcement. Secondly, Twentieth Century Fox will bring Sir Ridley Scott to Australia in 2016 to direct his next Alien film. These two films are expected to inject over $300 million of offshore investment into Australia, deliver many thousands of jobs for Australians and use the services of more than 6,000 Australian businesses. Film tourism, as my colleague the Minister for Trade and Investment well knows, is an increasing drawcard for overseas visitors, so the spin-off for tourism will be significant too. We do have the evidence for these expectations.
Pirates of the Caribbean , filmed on the Gold Coast recently, resulted in foreign investment of over $160 million into Australia, employed over 2,600 Australians and sourced equipment and goods and services from over 6,200 Australian businesses across all states. For this production Australian companies created new, innovative technologies that are now being used around the world, enhancing our international reputation for innovation. A Melbourne based company, XM2 Aerial, designed drones to carry heavy cameras in the production of this film and they are now being used around the world. Botany Cranes in Sydney developed and manufactured specialised camera platforms; they are now being used around the world. On-Crete, a Gold Coast company, developed a cement render which revolutionised set building; that is now being used worldwide.
Screen Australia estimates that the film and television industry is already directly contributing about $5.8 billion to Australian GDP, about 46,000 full-time-equivalent employees annually. So producing and filming blockbusters in Australia will drive our creative industries. This is great news for Australian jobs.
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