Scrap the carbon tax: PIAA

The peak industry body wants the carbon tax repealed and is keen to work with the Abbott government on implementing its 'direct action' policy.

The carbon tax has caused a 6-10% rise in power bills and eroded printers' margins, said Bill Healey, chief executive of the Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA).

Healey told ProPrint that the PIAA supported the repeal of the carbon tax, along with other industry groups.

"Given the nature of margins at the moment, anything that is going to reduce production costs is going to be attractive," he said.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Australian Industry Group, Business Council of Australia and the Minerals Council of Australia released a joint statement last week calling for the repeal of the carbon tax.

[Opinion: Carbon trading scheme makes sense]

"For small business especially, the tax has been a headache that has reduced profitability and, like it does for consumers, makes balancing the books each month much harder," they said.

Healey said printers were "frustrated" by the carbon tax – some because they didn't believe it was the best way to deal with climate change and others because they were sceptical about climate change.

He also said they had struggled to pass on carbon tax-related price increases to their customers.

"That's part of the problem. Given the market at the moment, it's very, very hard to pass on anything."

Healey said the PIAA wanted to work with the Federal government to find a mutually beneficial way to implement its direct action policy within the printing industry.

"We're not as cynical about the direct action policy as a lot of community groups are," he said.

[Feature: Powerless to pass on carbon tax price hikes]

"There's evidence to show that through a structured approach you can work with businesses to reduce their energy usage."

Meanwhile, Healey said the change of government had helped spur a rise in business confidence since the election, although not as much as some may have expected.

"I think things are still tough. Certainly, people are starting to see some green shoots in the last month or so," he told ProPrint.

"Historically, there's always a decline in business activity leading up to an election. I would argue given the uncertainty that existed in the hung parliament, perhaps that decline lasted for a longer period of time."

Roy Morgan Research's monthly business confidence survey reported that confidence in October 2013 was at its highest level since the survey began in December 2010.

"Business confidence in October reflects both business approval for the change in government and a more general improvement in business performance," according to Roy Morgan Research.

[LinkedIn: Does your business measure its carbon footprint?]

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14 thoughts on “Scrap the carbon tax: PIAA

  1. Geez we’re really throwing all our credibility away aren’t we?

    It’s one thing to want to do away with the carbon tax, but how can anyone take us seriously now we’re endorsed the ridiculous Direct Action plan?

    The Liberal bias of the current management of PIAA is embarrassing. Even the government must be red faced about having such as bunch of sycophants shilling for them.

    A sad day for print.

  2. Agreed Banksy, these dinosaurs at the PIAA are jokes. They may claim to know their members (hahahaha), but there is no way they know our clients, and what they expect from us. Once again, this justifies why I’m NOT a member. The only reason worth joining is to get a discount on a Volkswagen. In fact, from tomorrow i’m printing this article out, and giving to customers who ask about my commitment to the environment and tell them that these old fools do not represent me, nor will i be a member until they realise how stupid they look. Thanks PIAA, you just gave me a point of difference to many of my competitors.

  3. If the PIAA is really representing the opinion of its members in its strong support of the Abbott government’s inane “Direct Action” policy for reducing carbon emissions, then my long-held view that the printing industry is mainly populated by imbeciles has been proved to be correct. This view is further reinforced by the fact that a number of printers are apparently climate change deniers, a totally untenable position when 97% of climate scientists hold the opposite opinion.
    There is not one credible scientific or economic expert who has supported the “Direct Action” scheme, and whatever reductions in emissions that it achieves will be at a greater pro-rata cost than the carbon tax that it replaces.
    With the LNP government in office for less than three months, Australia is already the laughing stock of the world as a result of its climate change policies, and Tony Abbott is well on the way to replacing George W Bush as the greatest buffoon on the world stage in the last 50 years.
    Given the ridiculously enthusiastic support the PIAA appears to be giving the LNP, how does the printing industry expect to be treated when the ALP returns to government, at which time no doubt Mr Healey and his minions will have made a bolt for the PIAA exit.

    1. Keep your Labor bias to yourself Rooboy18. Just comment on the facts, rather than what “you believe” the perception is of our prime minister overseas. Rudd was seen as a grand standing tool, yet you by your comments like representatives who are full of gusto, but without substance… Have you actually had a look at the names of the councils/committees/groups/committee’s etc, etc that the LNP axed ?. Never a bigger load of free loaders on the government purse strings in history based on fraud and lies by Proffessor Tim Flannery, who by the way is not a proffessor on climate change, nor anything to do with weather mapping, weather history etc at all… As for how the PIAA will be treated when Labor returns to government, mate they will all be retired by then. Labor will be in the wilderness for years as they deserve to be… Read again the last paragraph about the Roy Morgan research results… Business confidence improved once a LNP government was elected with a mandate to repeal the carbon tax….. As for the PIAA, sure you have some valid points on their past and current performance, but I think backing a new government who has a mandate to govern based on policies they said they would implement rather than lie like Julia, then I see that as a positive decision. By the way…. Can you please tell me what the Labor government offered our industry whilst in government… Bugger all. I actually spoke to Bill Shorten BEFORE the election and he said his government was looking into what they can do for our industry, yet when I asked him why nothing for the past 4 years, he said we are looking at it……. Typical Labor spin… No yes answer, no, no answer..

  4. For those of you who think PIAA is on the right path, read Ross Gittins’ column in today’s SMH – link here (

    I can’t express how embarrassing the PIAA is under the current leadership.

    If you are wondering how it got this way, here is another link.

    This is Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher speaking on this issue in the Australian Senate. Senator Fisher now works at PIAA as part of the leadership team.

    There must be a PIAA election soon. Remember this on election day.

    1. Banksy, I watched the video and think I am in love with Mary Jo. I want to be her partner on So you Think You Can Dance?

  5. I sincerely hope that our clients in this industry read the comments in response to this article and see them as representative rather than those of the CEO of our “peak” body. Every printing company in this country promotes what they are doing in terrms of environmental sustainability (surprisingly something the body Mr Healey purports to lead also promotes as an industry necessity). If I was a client reading his comments, I could take a rather cynical view that the industry is not serious about environmental sustainability and we just use it as a selling tool.
    I’m sure the ACCC will be very interested in these comments also and expect the industry to automatically reduce pricing if carbon pricing is abolished.
    Nice work Mr Healey.

  6. From the Far Side, Labor did a lot for our industry. They pumped credit into the economy while the private sector withdrew its credit.

    There were numerous instances of grants given to printing companies who capitally improved their businesses. Color management, waste management, carbon reduction improvements, International competitive improvements, etc would have been able to recieve grants on those grounds.

    By getting rid of the carbon tax we have shown the world we are not a team player and most certainly not willing to be in a leadership position. A cowardly move in my eyes.

    1. Ahhhh, the grants to keep unsustainable companies in business, or for those like Focus press who got over $6 million to build a new factory his “private” company… C’mon.
      When India, Pakistan, America, China and Russia agree to a carbon tax then we should look at as it will have an impact (if you believe all the scare mongering led by the greens and believed by Labor) Going alone only costs us jobs, higher power bills and almost zero affect on the globe…

  7. We may have been one of the first but we weren’t the only. All those countries you list (with the exception of Pakistan) are currently working on or implementing carbon taxes or equivalent ETS type schemes.

    We’re the only one dumb enough to think planting a few trees and subsidising polluters with nothing in return will help.

    I agree with you re the grants, but one thing the previous government did do that had a huge material impact on our businesses (or should have if you were paying attention) was the 30% bonus tax deduction on capital equipment when the GFC hit (link here: If you didn’t use this to rejuvenate your equipment you missed out. Oh and they kept us out of recession.

  8. There are other countries embarking on CT route.

    The idea of doing it early was to give us all a leg up on everyone else in IP and established industries before the likes of the big nations start. It wasn’t just about cutting emmisions, it was about a long term money play as well.

  9. So as Bill puts it….”The carbon tax has caused a 6-10% rise in power bills and eroded printers’ margins”. printers margins may have been eroded, but the Carbon Tax is not entirely to blame. We as an industry keep dropping prices when this is unsustainable, that’s what’s eroding margins. When the cost to manufacture increases, then we must increase our costs in order to maintain what little margin there is left. Sorry Bill but many a print company has been reducing it’s environmental impact, by reducing waste, converting to newer “Greener” technology, vegetable based inks, FSC paper, recycling etc. For the head of our industry to promote the abolition of the CT is just giving the naysayers that print is an unsustainable and dirty business more to crow about. I cant believe this is coming from the peak printing representative body. He is out of touch.

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