The Bill provides for an Act to "establish film friendly principles for the approval of film permits by public agencies, to provide for the making of film friendly guidelines and to make consequential amendments to other Acts and for other purposes".
It encompasses filming on locations covered by the Cemeteries & Crematoria Act 2003, Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978, Forests Act 1958, Geelong Performing Arts Centre Trust Act 1980, Land Act 1958, Libraries Act 1988, Local Government Act 1989, Melbourne & Olympic Parks Act 1985, Melbourne Cricket Ground Act 2009, Museums Act 1983, National Gallery of Victoria Act 1966, National Parks Act 1975, Port Management Act 1995, Road Management Act 2004, Road Safety Act 1986, Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991, State Sport Centres Act 1994, Victoria Racing Club Act 2006,,Victorian Arts Centre 1979, Wildlife Act 1975, and the Zoological Parks & Gardens Act 1995.
The Principles are identified in Schedule 1 and explained as follows -
This principle provides that a public agency that receives an application for a film permit must not unreasonably withhold the approval of that application, subject to this Act and any other Act. The approval of an application for a film permit is unreasonably withheld if a public agency does not attempt to address its concerns by giving approval subject to terms and conditions, or take reasonable steps to work with the applicant to identify alternative locations for filming. Principle 1.3 provides that approval is subject to any requirements of a public agency to consider public amenity, safety and security, environmental and heritage impacts. Under principle 1.4, approval is also subject to any operational requirements of a public agency, including commercial agreements and the maintenance of any land or facilities. Commercial agreements that restrict a public agency's ability to allow commercial filming may include sponsorship agreements. The need to maintain land or facilities, including planned maintenance, may also restrict a public agency's ability to allow commercial filming.
A public agency must approve or refuse an application for a film permit in a timely manner, and it must take reasonable steps to respond to an applicant within 5 business days. A response to an applicant may be a determination of the application, or an acknowledgement of receipt of the application.
Principle 3--Reasons for refusal
A public agency that refuses to approve an application for a film permit must give reasons to the applicant for the refusal.
Principle 4--Point of contact
A public agency must take reasonable steps to provide a single point of contact to deal with commercial filming on public land. This principle ensures a public agency takes reasonable steps to provide a single point of contact to the public in order to streamline the commercial filming industry's access to the public agency. This principle does not prevent a public agency from processing applications for various matters related to commercial filming in different parts of the agency. For example, a Council may process a filming permit application in one area and an application to secure parking for a commercial filming project in another area.
Principle 5--Standard forms
A public agency must ensure that any application forms and other documents required by the public agency to consider an application for a film permit, other than forms and documents prescribed in regulations or set by an Order in Council, are consistent with any standard forms or documents issued by Film Victoria. If an application form or other document used by a public agency is different from a standard form or document issued by Film Victoria, the form or document must not request any information from an applicant that is not necessary to consider the application. This principle will enable a consistent approach to filming permit application forms that is as streamlined as possible under filming approval legislation.
This principle provides that where a public agency has power to charge fees for film permit applications or the issuing of film permits under filming approval legislation, that agency must not set fees above cost recovery unless specifically authorised under another Act. The public agency must also take the broader economic benefits that commercial filming brings to the community into consideration when setting fees that are not prescribed in regulations or set by the Governor in Council. This principle does not prevent a public agency from taking other relevant matters into account when setting fees for film permit applications or the issuing of film permits.
Principle 7--Accessible information
A public agency that has the power to issue film permits must publish information about how a person may apply for a film permit on its website, or on a website approved by Film Victoria. Film Victoria may request a public agency to publish any other relevant information regarding these principles, or to publish information on a website other than the agency's website. This principle ensures that information on commercial filming on public land in Victoria is publicly and easily accessible, and that the application process for a filming permit is transparent.
Principle 8--Staff training
A public agency must take reasonable steps to ensure that staff responsible for considering and issuing film permits are given appropriate information regarding the film industry. This principle will ensure that public agency staff responsible for considering and issuing film permits have sufficient knowledge to assist commercial filmmakers with the filming permit application process and general commercial filming enquiries.