Australia faces a critical shortage of paper supplies over Christmas and into the new year due to the anticipated stoppage of paper manufacturing at a major local paper mill, says independent business supplies dealer group Office Brands.
Its CEO Adam Joy said due to unforeseen circumstances outside of their control, hundreds of SMBs including printers, office products stores and newsagents across Australia are expected to run out of paper products over the coming weeks.
Joy said this will impact thousands of small and medium enterprises, educational institutions and consumers.
“The suspension of timber harvesting in Victoria as a result of a court injunction on the Victorian Government-owned timber company VicForests, means that a major local paper manufacturer is expected to stop production in the coming days,” he said.
“This will have a serious and immediate impact on paper supplies across the country.”
As a result, Office Brands, together with the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association, Group Newsagent Supplies and Office Choice has written to the Minister for Industry, Ed Husic, seeking his urgent intervention to temporarily suspend anti-dumping duties on paper imported to Australia to open up supply.
“Our members have proven their resilience over the past couple of years as they have evolved to address supply issues in challenging times to meet the needs of their customers. This current situation is a kick in the guts and comes at the worst possible time,” he said.
“Everyone remembers the toilet paper shortages. We fear a repeat of this fiasco for paper products if the government doesn’t step in now to open up paper supplies.”
“The anti-dumping system is intended to address the importation of goods dumped into Australia. Unfortunately, Australian owned small businesses that we represent are suffering because of its unintended consequences, as it is severely limiting our ability to provide affordable paper products.
“We are calling on the Australian Government to use its powers under the Customs Act and ensure affordable paper supplies can be secured so that customers aren’t left empty handed.”
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