PIAA barracks for print in Parliament

The PIAA has spoken to a Federal Parliamentary Committee inquiring into the value of printing documents telling them they should tread carefully in contemplating replacing print with online.

Mary-Jo Fisher, director of government relations at the PIAA along with representatives from CanPrint who prints 50 per cent of federal parliamentary documents appeared before the committee. Fisher says the ramifications of this inquiry will spread beyond federal parliamentary documents.

Fisher says, “Our message was clear: Be careful what you wish for. The upshot of this inquiry will flow through State Parliaments and Local Government and to our members who print those documents.  Beyond that, it will deliver a message about the perceived value of print, which will resonate throughout the community.

"CanPrint’s motivation in providing input into the inquiry extends beyond retaining a part of their business. They are acting for the printing industry as a whole and assisting the Association to combat misleading views about the value of print.”

[Related: PIAA focusing on education]

The PIAA says its submission to the inquiry demonstrates that value is clearly not just about cost.

Fisher says, “Printed parliamentary documents deliver value through the service and turnaround times, the quality of the work and the security of the information throughout the process. Publishing parliamentary documents online may appear superficially attractive but needs significant improvement and advances if it is to deliver the same value as print overall.

“It should also be acknowledged that with many Parliamentary documents only a small proportion of the total costs of the documents could be eliminated by moving to online publication. For example, the physical printing of an Annual Report reflects approximately 20 per cent of the total cost, the rest being consumed by design, copywriting, editing, typesetting and indexing, all of which would still be required.”

Read the PIAA statement to the Federal Parliamentary Committee here.

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