Queensland's opposition has lashed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's push to establish a permanent film industry as "a vanity project", one day out from the deadline to lure a major international film project to the state.
The federal government has until Friday to decide whether to grant an increased tax incentive to bring the production for the live-action Dora the Explorer film to the Gold Coast or risk losing the project to another country.
The premier has pushed hard for the increased tax offset, in line with that offered to the producers of Aquaman, which was filmed on the Gold Coast last year, as part of an effort to establish a permanent film industry in the state.
But Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the existing tax break should be incentive enough.
"This is a vanity project by Annastacia Palaszczuk. We need to secure long-term jobs for Queensland, not a short-term sugar-hit just for the premier," she said.
But the head of Screen Queensland, Tracey Vieira, said the industry delivered much more back into the local economy than was spent on tax breaks.
Ms Vieira said a recent production had completely booked one Gold Coast hotel for six months straight, which translated to around 160,000 room nights, compared to a major event like the Gold Coast marathon which generated 80,000.
That was on top of the benefit to associated industries such as construction and catering which were supported by major film projects.
She said Queensland missed out on the new Tomb Raider movie and a spinoff to the popular Fast and the Furious franchise, which would have seen hundreds of millions of dollars worth of direct investment into the local economy, because a one-off tax-break arrangement couldn't be worked out in time.
"When I went and met with one of the big studios recently they said to me 'we have this production, but we didn't know if we could get to the politicians in time to actually consider Australia and we took it off the table' and that's our issue," she told ABC Radio on Thursday.
Australia has a 16.5 per cent tax offset for international film productions, compared to 25 per cent in New Zealand and 30 per cent in the US state of Georgia.
Ms Palaszczuk urged the federal government to meet her halfway to ensure the local film industry could continue to grow.
"If we do not secure this next blockbuster, the people on the Gold Coast will go to other parts of the world, and the jobs will be lost," she said.
"Around 80 per cent of the people employed on Aquaman at the moment do not have jobs. If we secure this next project, those jobs remain on the Gold Coast."