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‘Outrageous Fortune’ outrage in Oz

TV3’s outrageous Fortune' is causing a furore in Australia, but not for its content. The New Zealand programme has been included in Australian Channel Nine's quota for local drama, a decision that has lead Australian screenwriters to threaten industrial action. The screenwriter's association's executive director, Geoff Brown, says members would protest in February if Nine went ahead. Following a 1997 High Court decision, New Zealand programmes may count as local content. "After the High Court case, the television stations had a tacit agreement that they wouldn't go with New Zealand drama product," Geoff explains, adding, "Something has changed. This is a fight for us. If one network gets away with it what are the others going to do? We will be in the streets in February and March." outrageous Fortune’ will account for about 30 of the 250 points of local drama Channel Nine needs to maintain its Australian broadcasting licence. [10 January 2007]

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