CanPrint producing budget books

CanPrint is printing 44,000 books in just 48 hours for the federal budget, a job it has held for the past 20 years.

The Canberra-based, Opus Group printer is located just five kilometers from Parliament House, and has printed the budget since the Australian Government Printing Service (AGPS) closed down two decades ago.

Andrew Brien is the site manager for CanPrint in Fyshwick, and Hume, where the company respectively prints and distributes its materials. He says Can Print employs 80 members of its full-time staff force working 24 hours a day from Sunday to Monday night to have all the materials delivered prior to Tuesday morning, when journalists descend on the nation’s capital.

“Basically we get a 48 hour production window. Each government department produces a budget statement on its portfolio, which then gets approved by the Department of Finance. So until Finance approves the final numbers, we cannot  print anything.

“Generally we start on Sunday and finish on the Monday. And we distribute to Parliament House over that 12 hour window. Everything gets there during the middle of Monday night at the latest, but we are on track to finish up early this year.”

CanPrint’s Fyshwick site is 6,500sqm, and is handling 20 tonnes of sheetfed stock on its 10-colour offset presses, and seven tonnes of inkjet stock on its webfed inkjet Fujifilm printers, says Brien.

“The 44,500 books we print total 20 million pages, all of which is 100 per cent produced on site.”

He says the Fyshwick factory is purpose-built for high speed books, and specialises in producing annual magazines and reports. The company submits a price to the Government every year, and is yet to fail in its bid.

Security measures are tight, with everything under embargo, and no waste being allowed to leave the site. While journalists used to camp out near the site, Brien says those days are long gone.

“We have a secure facility, everyone needs passes, we have security patrolling, automatic gates and so forth. We also have 60 CCTV cameras, and a lot of our staff have government clearance.

“This year we are producing it in full, on time, and delivering a majority of it early”, says Brien.

The Turnbull Government has noted a tax break for small to medium businesses, which could stand to benefit a majority of print companies in Australia.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.