Lights, Camera, Action – how we benefit from filmmaking

Ballina is attracting more and more filmmakers and producers to the area and apart from the thrill of seeing the local sights on the screen, there are considerable benefits the film industry brings to our community. 

You might have seen film crews at key locations across the shire, or have new neighbours near your place of business. At times we might feel a little inconvenienced if filming is taking place at our favourite beach, or parking is a little more difficult at our place of work, but there is so much our community gains.

Film making brings many local employment opportunities and gives our young people the opportunity to work in the film industry. They employ local trades, health services, traffic control and security services. They purchase props, wardrobe items and hire equipment and lease commercial spaces. They also boost trade for local businesses, the crew all need to eat, have somewhere to stay and things to see and do when they are not working.   

The NSW Filming Protocol 2009, was developed to make NSW more film friendly to attract and maintain film, TV and TV commercial production. Council is also restricted to charge the fees set by the NSW Government under this protocol. 

All photography and filming on public spaces must be approved through Council’s Open Spaces Team before production can commence. Council also has a filming policy to assist film production companies achieve their vision, but at the same time safeguard the day-to-day activities of our community and protect the environment. 

After the impacts to our region from the bushfires and COVID, the film industry brings a welcome economic benefit to the Ballina Shire. We appeal to our local residents to see it for the worth that it brings. 

Local Government Filming Protocol 2009

The creative media sector is an important area of innovation, a means of improving productivity and increasing business investment in New South Wales. The Government developed the Local Government Filming Protocol 2009 under the Local Government Act 1993 to ensure that New South Wales remains “film friendly” while maintaining a proper balance between community and economic benefits.

It is important that film production companies understand Council has the care, control and management of these areas. This means Council has a duty to maintain public amenity, public safety and allow free movement while shoots take place.

Council’s Filming on Public Land Policy has been developed to assist film production companies achieve their film vision while at the same time ensure there is minimum impact on the day to day activities of the Ballina Shire community.

Prior to commencing any filming, a Filming Application is required for public land under the ownership, care, control or management of Ballina Shire Council. This includes areas such as public reserves, footpaths, roads, beaches and parks. Filmmakers must, prior to applying for a film approval, refer to the Local Government Filming Protocol 2009 for guidance.

Activities associated with filming may require approval and such activities may attract an application fee. The requirements for each filming situation are different and require different levels of administrative work for Council. A scale of application fees has been developed and is available in Council’s adopted Fees and Charges.


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The General Manager
Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

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40 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478


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