Herbert River Falls -  edited Apr 2014

  Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has kept his promise to give his electorate a fighting chance of being part of future big screen movie and TV productions, following last year’s bonanza year for international production in Queensland. Queensland was the number one state in attracting off-shore productions in the last financial year including Modern Family, Unbroken, San Andreas and the recently announced fifth instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean to be filmed exclusively in Queensland. Mr Cripps said he was leading a small team of representatives from Screen Queensland’s locations’ department throughout the Hinchinbook electorate this week to identify, scope and scout locations that could be attractive for future big screen film and TV productions. “Following last years’ announcement that the next Pirates of the Caribbean film would be shot solely in Queensland, I said there would be fierce competition across the state for film locations and it would be all hands on deck to put Hinchinbrook’s best foot forward,” said Mr Cripps. “Since then, I have been lobbying very hard to give the Cassowary Coast region, the Hinchinbrook Shire and Townsville City the best possible opportunity to be part of this significant project and for future film and TV opportunities. “As such our state’s screen agency is now visiting our region and photographing some locations for the first time, exposing our hidden gems for the world to see,” he said. Mr Cripps said the Hinchinbrook electorate was a place of outstanding natural beauty and he was committed to taking every opportunity to support the development of the local tourism industry and promote new local economic development opportunities. Screen Queensland Chair Professor Peter Little said the visit was taking place as part of Screen Queensland’s Film Friendly Pathways Program. “In order for our state to remain competitive, our screen agency continues to work hard to build film friendly pathways throughout regional Queensland,” Professor Little said. “We’re pleased to be working with Mr Cripps and his electorate to establish and foster relationships among the local councils involved in providing and approving locations for filming. Our focus remains on building a sustainable screen sector across the state and this includes FNQ.” Production Incentive and Attraction Manager Gina Black, who is part of the scouting mission in the Hinchinbrook electorate this week, said the tour included visits to several locations in the Townsville, Hinchinbrook and Cassowary Coast regions as well as discussions with local councils and business groups including tourism organisations and the chambers of commerce. All photographs and details will be put on the recently launched Screen Queensland app that allows users to search images and data from Screen Queensland’s online Locations Gallery, Crew and Facilities Directory. Mr Cripps said while the visit by Screen Queensland in no way guarantees any pirate ships will be sailing into the Hinchinbrook electorate, it does provide the region with a chance to put its best foot forward and position itself well for future opportunities.

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