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16 April, 2021

EDITORIAL: Lights, Camera, and soon some action

Prior to last year’s state election, the Palaszczuk Government promised $6.8 million to fund the building of the FNQ Sound Stage.

By Peter McCullagh

This project was designed to propel the north forward as an ideal destination for film and television production, not just because of our tremendous scenery but also our state-of-the-art production facilities.

 Over the weekend the premier announced the wonderful inroads her government have made to create a thriving film and television industry here in Queensland.

 “Since the start of 2020, we have secured 39 productions for the sunshine State, including local Queensland-made and international productions attracted here through the Production Attraction Strategy.

“These productions have injected an estimated $437 million into the local economy and created approximately 5,500 jobs for Queenslanders.”

All very good but no mention of Cairns or the North. The promise of the FNQ Sound Stage appeared to have gone cold. Perhaps another dud election promise?

However, we are pleased to hear that local Member Curtis Pitt, a passionate supporter and advocate for this project is committed to and working on delivering the project and an announcement could be forthcoming.

Curtis has held several meetings with Screen Queensland as well as industry partners during the first quarter of 2021.

These discussions were to progress the concept design and to secure a location.

“It’s not a case of whether a screen facility will be built - it’s where it will go and what it will include.”

In Curtis’s words, “It’s not a case of whether a screen facility will be built - it’s where it will go and what it will include.”

A project of this nature is critical for the North. We have some of the most spectacular scenery, combined with a very stable social environment offering safety and security to stars and crew, along with some incredibly talented locals already working in acting and production.

The final word on the topic can best be summarised by our Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt.

“I am acutely aware that Queensland and Australia more broadly are considered COVID-safe destinations for film and television production and so the aim is to complete the FNQ sound stage as quickly as possible to ensure we can secure our share of screen productions.

“The Far North played host to the first post-COVID screen production in Queensland with the feature film This Little Love Of Mine, and other recent projects in FNQ have included the documentaries, Microworlds and Reef: Live, and the teen TV series Dive Club.

“Further announcements regarding the location and construction timeframes for the sound stage will be made in the near future.”


Peter McCullagh


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