The idea of making the Ballina – Byron region the next place for movies to be shot and produced is gathering momentum with the latest feasibility study for the idea soon to be underway.
The study will look at the feasibility of at least two studios at the Southern Cross industrial estate next to the Ballina airport
‘The feasibility study is to elaborate on an independent feasibility study we did a couple of years back, to discover the impact a film industry establishment could have on a regional centre like Ballina. The focus of the study will be on estimating how many jobs would be created from the project and the economic multiplier effect on businesses in the region,’ William Gammon from Byron Studios told The Echo.
‘There are so many different elements that go into making movies, from set building, location logistics, catering, actors, directors, design, animation, editing, etc, and so many other local services that will be needed, from the accommodation, to local restaurants and cafes, to drivers, and consultants, the list just goes on and on,’ said Ballina Councillor Jeff Johnson.
‘At a time when many businesses are doing it tough, the thought of such a job intensive industry setting up a major footprint in Ballina is something that will be a major boost.’
Ballina Shire Council Mayor, David Wright, told The Echo that the study would be funded equally by Byron Studios, Ballina Shire Council, and the State government.
‘They will each put in $30,000 so it is $90,000 all up.’
COVID Safe shooting
‘It’s such an exciting prospect for Ballina given the large number of jobs that it will create. Early estimates are for 250 full time jobs and up to 1,300 part time or casual jobs,’ said Councillor Johnson.
Mr Gammon from Byron Studios also highlighted the fact that ‘the spotlight is on Australia (Byron/Ballina region in-particular) as the new COVID Safe shooting location.
‘Byron Studios [based in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate] is hitting the accelerator on setting up an interim stage to cater for the influx of import productions and also local productions,’ he told The Echo.