Merger of PIAA and GASAA into final mile

The combination of the Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA) and the Graphic Arts Services Association of Australia (GASAA) was first revealed in March, and this week passed a crucial milestone when applications were filed with Fair Work Australia.

Garry Knespal, executive officer of GASAA, told ProPrint that in the six months since the merger was first mooted, there had been no adverse reactions from members.

He expected GASAA’s role within the combined organisation would be to focus on “the digital print and creative side of the industry”.

GASAA’s Truly Green environmental certification program will be “harmonised” into the PIAA’s Sustainable Green Print initiative program, he added.

PIAA chief executive Bill Healey said the merger showed the bodies were responding to the needs of members, who have been calling on trade associations to mirror the consolidating nature of the industry.

“People think there are too many bodies out there,” Healey told ProPrint, adding that news of talks with the Packaging Council of Australia “reflects the same issue”.

The PIAA met with the Packaging Council recently to discuss ways of working together.

PIAA president Susan Heaney said: “The boards of both associations were convinced that there is a need for greater co-operation, consolidation and, potentially, mergers between the various existing associations in the printing, packaging and labelling supply chains.”

Packaging Council president David Martin said: “While there has been significant consolidation through mergers among companies across the industry, the same has not occurred among their representative associations. For our industry’s representation to maintain relevance and scale, consolidation is a necessity.”

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