SYDNEY, July 17 (Reuters) - Australia will spend A$400 million ($278.8 million) over the next seven years to lure film and television productions, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, as Canberra seeks to capitalise on its low levels of coronavirus.
Global film and television production has ground to a halt amid the spread of coronavirus.
While Australia has seen a surge in new cases in recent weeks, its near 11,000 cases and 113 deaths remain well below other countries.
Morrison said Canberra will expand an existing fund that offers film and television producers a tax break for bringing productions to Australia.
Attracting film and television production will boost local jobs, Morrison said, with unemployment in Australia pegged at a 22-year high this week.
“Behind these projects are thousands of workers that build and light the stages, that feed, house and cater for the huge cast and crew and that bring the productions to life,” Morrison said in an emailed statement.
Australia believes the $400 million funding will attract about A$3 billion in foreign expenditure and will create 8,000 new jobs over the seven years of the programme.
$1 = 1.4345 Australian dollars Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Lincoln Feast.