Posted: 10:11 am on 2nd March 2015

Fracking In California Under Spotlight As Some Local Municipalities Issue BansAccording to a recent article in the Australian Financial Review, Screen Australia, Screen Queensland, and Screen West, and you too, are contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to an anti-fracking documentary called Frackman.

The documentary tracks Queensland resident, “pig shooter and accidental activist” Dayne Pratzsky on his escapades, including trespassing on private land, and getting arrested at anti-fracking protests.

So far, Screen Australia has invested $200,000 of your money in the film, plus giving it a $435,000 tax credit offered to films with significant Australian content and expenditure.

Screen Queensland has invested $220,000 of taxpayer money, while Screen West has contributed $156,000.

Former Queensland Arts Minister, Ian Walker, pointed out that Screen Queensland was an independent body, and its decisions were not based on political criteria, but on artistic merit, but we still have a few questions.

WasteWatch is neither for nor against fracking; we will leave that debate to people who know more about it. And we are not suggesting for one second that the film ought not to be made or screened.

But forcing the taxpayer to fund it, when it has already taken a side in a controversial question of public policy? We wonder if that might not be a bit much.

Steve Wright, a director of the Energy Resource Information Centre, seems to have already made up his mind. He calls the film “an anti-industry campaign tool,” and “a big element of the activist toolkit” in the anti-fracking campaign.

What do you think?

William Shrubb

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