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Studio's potential obvious: MP

Friday, 21st January, 2011

Local MP John Williams and Mayor Wincen Cuy outside the former Central Power Station in Eyre Street which is being turned into a film studio Local MP John Williams and Mayor Wincen Cuy outside the former Central Power Station in Eyre Street which is being turned into a film studio

By Andrew Robertson

Local MP John Williams is "absolutely committed" to pursuing further funding from the State Government to complete the city's film studio.

The Member for Murray-Darling was among a group of people given a tour of the studio at the former Central Power Station in Eyre Street yesterday morning and emerged impressed.

He told waiting news media outside that work already done at the site should be enough to "sell its potential" to the State Government, which has already given $1 million towards the project.

"If I brought a minister out here and gave him a tour that I just had he could only be impressed with the potential of this facility."

City Council, which matched the amount, is now asking the government to fund half of the next stage, which the council estimates will cost $3m.

"There's no doubt this site does offer a great deal of potential for a wide range of uses, particular in the film industry where the focus has been (to) develop this site," Mr Williams said.

"What we need to do now is, we've established enough of this facility to start to demonstrate the benefits that will be derived from it."

One of those benefits has already materialised with the makers of Fury Road, Kennedy Mitchell Miller, already renting the studio from Council.

Filming of the fourth instalment in the Mad Max series of movies was the catalyst for Council to acquire the site from mining company Perilya and turn it into a film studio.

Mr Williams, who will attempt to retain his seat at the State election in March, said the studio had his full support.

But he stopped short of putting a figure on what the Coalition's commitment would be should it won government.

"I'm absolutely committed to pursuing this in the future," he said.

"There is a substantial investment made by the rate payers of Broken Hill and obviously I think that should be backed up with some State Government money, it already has and I think it should do so in the future.

"This is about jobs, this about employment and this about developing opportunities.

"We've already demonstrated that with what we've got here and the amount of visitation we have, and using this area to produce movie films, advertisements and other documentaries."

The MP was also confident the city was now better prepared to capitalise on the sort of opportunities a big budget film can offer, such as fans obsessed with everything about the movie, including the location.

"We are going to be a lot more focussed on ensuring we get a long-term benefit for this community from filming," he said.

"Some of those things that have slipped through as opportunities in the past won't get through in the future."

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