Screensound wins a reprieve

ScreenSound Australia has been granted a reprieve from the threat of major job losses after a significant community campaign waged by politicians, staff and unions in Canberra.

Chief Executive of the Australian Film Commission Kim Dalton says that, as a result of concerns expressed by ACT Senator Gary Humphries and by staff, unions and stakeholders, the AFC has “made a commitment that no jobs will be lost, including senior management, and no existing functions will be moved out of Canberra as a result of the review of ScreenSound programs. In addition no senior management positions will be moved out of Canberra.”

Dalton says “this commitment to ScreenSound staff and management is made unconditionally. I hope this will now provide the opportunity for an open and constructive discussion to take place around the Directions Paper.”

The AFC is inviting discussion on the various proposals in the paper which include an expanded Canberra-based school visitor program, touring exhibitions to regional Australia, and the establishment of the Centre for Scholarship and Archival Research in Canberra.

The deadline for responses to the Directions Paper has been extended from 23 January to 16 February 2004 and responses should be emailed to
[email protected] Click below to read the full discussion paper.

ScreenSound is a responsible for collection, preservation and restoration of our nation’s history in radio, sound and film.

ACT Senator Kate Lundy told radioinfo: “It is outrageous that these proposals were ever brought to the staff of ScreenSound, and it is only because of the voices of staff and supporters around the world, that the Howard Government has been forced to back flip on these cuts.”

“This is a step in the right direction but we do not believe that the fight to save ScreenSound is over. We must not be dissuaded from our campaign to preserve and indeed build upon the work of ScreenSound Australia.”

Community and Public Sector Union spokesperson Margaret Gillespie says “the community has showed how it cared about its cultural institutions.”