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End in sight for pirate film booty stoush

By Sarah Motherwell From The Sydney Morning Herald

Dead men may tell no tales but Screen Queensland is determined to keep quiet about how much it paid for Disney to set course for Gold Coast studios.

The state government body crossed swords with the Information Commissioner at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Wednesday, arguing it should be allowed to keep secret its business dealings over the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

The fight began two years ago when Glass Media Group executive producer Chris Boyd applied under the Right to Information Act for documents that disclosed Screen Queensland’s “incentive payment” to Disney.

Mr Boyd was given a one-page ministerial briefing with the payment amount redacted, something the Information Commissioner ruled was not acceptable.

The court heard it was only fair for the state to release the figure given the Australian federal government had freely divulged its $21.6 million contribution.

But outside the hearing chief executive Tracey Vieira said Queensland wanted to remain competitive.

“Queensland competes to attract international production, not just with other jurisdictions in Australia but really with jurisdictions around the world,” Ms Vieira said.

“We don’t want to show our hand to the other states, much like they will not show their hand to us.”

IMAGE: The latest Pirates of the Caribbean was largely filmed in Queensland.

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