Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Xenophon calls on government to keep PIRs

South Australian senator Nick Xenophon outlined his objections to the Productivity Commission’s draft recommendation to repeal parallel importation restrictions (PIRs) at a press conference at Matilda Bookshop in Adelaide on 27 June.

Xenophon, who attended the press conference with candidates from his Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) party, was joined by Australian Booksellers Association CEO Joel Becker, Australian Publishers Association president Louise Adler, Griffin Press CEO Ben Jolley and HarperCollins publishing operations director Robyn Fritchley, as well as a number of authors.

‘The Turnbull Government keeps talking about “jobs and growth” and innovation yet the overwhelming feedback that I and my team’s candidates have received from authors, publishers, artists and others in the industry is that this plan will hinder creativity and innovation and cost jobs,’ said Xenophon.

‘Not only does cheaper books at the cost of 20,000 jobs not make sense, it flies in the face of both the Coalition’s mantra for “jobs and growth” and “innovation”,’ said Xenophon, calling on the Coalition and Labor to ‘scrap these plans and listen to those it will hurt the most’.

Jolly said ‘there is a very real possibility the whole local publishing and print industry could disintegrate’, including Adelaide-based Griffin Press, which has 105 employees and ‘engages with many other local companies that would also be impacted by changes the publishing scene’. ‘These include Adelaide’s carton (box) makers, cover embellishment and sheetfed printers, plus local digital and conventional printing support engineers. The changes would also impact on paper manufacturers in Tasmania,’ said Jolly.

In April this year, Griffin Press committed to a seven-year, $3.2m per year deal to lease three digital presses ‘and associated finishing equipment’. The presses, which are expected to be installed in July, will see the company transition away from offset book printing and become ‘the largest digital book printer in Australasia’.


Category: Local news