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Council plans for film studio to pay for itself

Friday, 27th August, 2010

* The film studio * The film studio

The city's new film studio could eventually become a self-sufficient enterprise, rather than a cost for City Council.

At Wednesday night's monthly meeting of City Council, the elected body endorsed a number of recommendations from the Film Broken Hill Advisory Group.
That group, which has met twice, has been considering a business plan for the studio and a potential film precinct.
The plan has been put together by consultants who took input from 90-odd locals and external experts.
An extended precinct could include other facilities and tourist attractions at the studio site.
The plan is for the studio and precinct to remain in public hands but be managed by an independent, not-for-profit Trust or Foundation.
The aim is to better attract investment and react quickly to business opportunities.
Council's General Manager Frank Zaknich said that by identifying commercial opportunities, the project could become self-sustaining or offset some of Council's other expenses. It will be two years before the studio transitions into that form, and any change of management will require Council and NSW Government approval.
If it works, Council could look at it as a model for other business-like expenses, such as the Entertainment Centre and Visitors Information Centre.
Council spends a lot of money running those facilities, and if they could instead be cost-neutral, the money could go towards their core business of maintaining Broken Hill.
Other measures endorsed by Council on Wednesday include: completing a tourist survey to see how many visitors the precinct could attract; develop a brand; promote business excellence in support industries in the city; apply for more funding, and; work to capitalise on the Fury Road production to build initial awareness.
Councillor Tom Kennedy sought to have the endorsement of the plan delayed on Wednesday night, citing concerns over a lack of detail.
He wanted a committee formed to look at the options more closely. But he was not supported by the other councillors and the measures were endorsed.

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