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Byron Shire
December 1, 2021

Local producer calls on ITV to cover business lockdown costs

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For the last seven days businesses have been shut, birthday parties cancelled and kids have been stuck at home on their first week of holidays across the Tweed and Byron shires. Local producer and director Tessa Hall told The Echo that local businesses should tally their losses and send and invoice to ITV Studios Australia.

‘At this point, even though I don’t work in reality TV I am ashamed to be a part of the production industry. What I do for a living making content and TV Commercials is not essential at this time and I don’t think Reality TV Production is either. The risk to Public Health is too great,’ she said.

‘There have been too many instances of producers behaving badly in our region. In a self-regulated industry that has, for far too long relied on “people doing the right thing” and “we take these matters seriously” press statements, that tens of thousands of people have been  in lockdown as a result of alleged actions that have resulted in swift laying of charges by NSW Police makes a mockery of Authorised Worker Permits and Public Health Orders and

COVIDSafe Plans as they relate to Film and TV Production.’

Significant costs to businesses

Recognising the costs incurred and the losses to local businesses as a result of the lockdown Ms Hall is suggesting that ‘every small business owner in the Tweed and Byron Shires should tally the losses accrued at the hands of the “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here” production and issue ITV Studios Australia a Tax Invoice for their hard costs and lost revenue.’

Ms Hall has been involved in setting up the online page that provides businesses with a form to ‘tally the costs of the ITV Studios bringing our region into lockdown’.

‘My community is outraged that this has happened for the sake of yet another Reality TV production,’ said Ms Hall.

‘This lockdown was avoidable and is the latest stanza in the ongoing saga of the domestic production industry disrespecting our small businesses and the place we live.

‘The Northern Rivers is our home and we have had enough of global behemoths in the TV industry treating us like we are an open cut mine for content – open for business at their discretion and at whatever cost to our community.

‘I wanted to give people a way to send Nicholas Melville the Head of Legal and Business Affairs at ITV Studios Australia a clear message about the unnecessary pain, stress, and loss of income this matter has caused,’ she said.

Ego and hubris

‘The whole point of giving people the opportunity to send an invoice to ITV Studios Australia is to show that the arrogance, ego and hubris of the Reality TV production industry will no longer be tolerated by the people that call this place home. Yeah, I get that ITV will likely never pay the invoices issued – it would make for a pretty epic blowout on their catering and accommodation production line items if they were to pick up the tab.’

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