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All drama production
Activity summary
Spend by state

Next update March 2020


Overall, NSW has accounted for around half of all drama production spending since 1994/95. This fluctuates according to the level of major expenditure by foreign or high-budget local productions in any given year.

The largest proportion of drama production activity in 2017/18 occurred in NSW (37 per cent), thanks to Australian features Ladies in Black, Little Monsters and Nekrotronic and the Australian/Chinese Official Coproduction The Legend of Sun and Moon. TV dramas included Bite Club and Lambs of God and returning seasons of Home and Away, Doctor Doctor and A Place to Call Home.

Victoria has fairly consistently accounted for around 20-30 per cent of drama spending, with fluctuations mainly caused by foreign productions. Victorian activity contributed 30 per cent of total production expenditure in 2017/18. The Australian/Chinese Official Co-production The Whistleblower undertook production in the state, along with domestic features Judy and Punch and Ride Like a Girl. New TV dramas The Cry and Playing for Keeps as well as retuning seasons of Jack Irish, Neighbours, Wentworth and Stan’s Romper Stomper were also shot in Victoria. Foreign PDV-only titles included Tomb Raider and Christopher Robin.

Queensland’s slate is considerably affected by the presence of foreign productions, which usually account for a substantial proportion of total expenditure in the state on an annual basis. Queensland accounted for 17 per cent of total expenditure in 2017/18, down by 68 per cent on the previous year. Titles shot and/or post-produced included two Australian/Chinese Official Co-production features as well as local features Celeste, Danger Close and Escape and Evasion. Local TV production included kids’ titles Bluey, The Bureau of Magical Things and Grace Beside Me and adult dramas  Harrow and Netflix originals Tidelands and Untitled Chris Lilley Project.

Activity in South Australia is predominantly in the local slate and from foreign PDV expenditure. 2017/18 marks the third consecutive year of growth with the state achieving a new record share of expenditure at 10 per cent. Australian features The Flip Side, I Am Mother and Storm Boy along with TV dramas Pine Gap, Wanted series 3 and Stan original Wolf Creek series 2 were all shot in South Australia. Half of the state’s expenditure in 2017/18 came from PDV work.

Expenditure in Western Australia is mainly related to the local and co-production slate, with children’s productions comprising a significant proportion of activity. WA also set a new record with a 5 per cent share of expenditure. Australian feature films 100% Wolf, Go Karts, The Dust Walker and The Naked Wanderer all undertook production activities in the state along with TV drama titles Mystery Road and The Heights.

After a record year in 2016/17, expenditure in the remaining states dropped by half to $11 million (1%). Productions included TV titles Rosehaven and Lambs of God (Tasmania), feature film Top End Wedding and TV drama Pine Gap (Northern Territory) and TV titles Rake and Secret City: Under the Eagle and feature The Furies (ACT).

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