minimum expenditure

A minimum level of qualifying Australian production expenditure (QAPE) applies for each format:

  • For feature films (including documentary features), the QAPE threshold is A$500,000.
  • Single-episode program other than a documentary (ie telemovie, direct-to-DVD): the QAPE threshold is A$500,000 and there is no minimum QAPE per hour.
  • Series (or season), other than documentary: the QAPE threshold is A$1,000,000, and the QAPE per hour must be at least A$500,000.
  • All non-feature documentary (single or multi-episode): the QAPE threshold is A$500,000 and the QAPE per hour must be at least A$250,000. Instead of receiving the Offset, eligible documentaries with budgets of $500,000 or less will be able to apply for a Producer Equity payment equal to 20% of the budget. Guidelines for the Producer Equity Program, which is administered by Screen Australia’s Documentary Unit, are available here.
  • Short-form animation: the QAPE threshold is A$250,000 and the QAPE per hour must be at least A$1,000,000.

For an official co-production, expenditure in the co-producing country that would be QAPE if it was incurred in Australia is QAPE for the purposes of meeting the expenditure thresholds, but not for the purposes of calculating the offset amount received.

The QAPE per hour is calculated by dividing the total QAPE by the actual duration (i.e. not commercial or broadcast duration) of the series measured in hours. You must provide the calculation in your application.

What is counted as qualifying Australian production expenditure (QAPE)?

QAPE is the applicant company's expenditure on the project that is incurred for, or is reasonably attributable to:

  • goods and services provided in Australia, for the making of the film;
  • the use of land located in Australia, for the making of the film; or
  • the use of goods that are located in Australia at the time they are used in the making of the film.

In addition, expenditure incurred outside Australia may be counted as QAPE when it is expenditure on Australian residents during principal photography, but only where the subject matter reasonably requires the use of the location.

The scope of expenditure that is considered QAPE was broadened as part of the 2011 Producer Offset reforms. However, specific inclusions and exclusions still apply. For more information, see Qualifying Expenditure, and read the At a Glance document.

The Producer Offset is now GST exclusive.  


[Page updated 13 November 2012]


The information in this section of the website reflects reforms made to the Producer Offset announced in the Government’s 2011/12 Federal Budget.

However, the 'old rules' still apply if your project:

  • started pre-production before 1 July 2011, or
  • has Screen Australia funding which was approved before 1 July 2011.

Download pre-2011 guidelines and supporting documents here.