Fremantle film studio plan on ice as construction costs soar in WA

A $100million film studio that was a campaign pledge by the WA government looks unlikely to go ahead after the Prime Minister admitted the Fremantle waterfront site was in trouble.

Ahead of last year’s election, Premier Mark McGowan said the project would create 2,800 permanent production and hospitality jobs.

It was to be a “world class” film studio in Victoria Quay.

Meanwhile, Mr McGowan has pledged to invest $20 million in a screen production fund to attract domestic and international projects to WA.

Today the Prime Minister acknowledged the project, which he described as a ‘market-driven proposal’, had hit a snag and alternative sites were being explored.

“This is currently under negotiation with the developers, but the Victoria Quay site has a range of issues which were not originally identified and obviously the cost of construction has increased significantly over the over the past year,” he said.

Mark McGowan expected the studios to provide 2,800 hosting and ongoing production jobs. (Provided)

WA’s construction industry is facing supply chain issues related to COVID.

Demand also surged after the WA and federal governments introduced incentives for new construction.

The problem is compounded by a labor shortage in the state that has been linked to the hard border.

All of these issues have driven up the cost of construction and skyrocketed construction project timelines.

Mr McGowan did not specify the issues with the Victoria Quay site, but said it was brownfield rather than greenfield – meaning it was on land previously used, sometimes potentially contaminated.

“We want to make sure the industry has a strong future in WA, like it does in New South Wales and Victoria,” Mr McGowan said.

“The government remains committed to it, it remains a beautiful project.

“We are looking at alternative sites as part of the project.”

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