PIAA in energy talks with WA pollie

Graham Jamieson, WA representative for the Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA)  along with Quality Press Managing Director, Atish Shah, have met with Robin Scott MLC of One Nation in the Western Australian Parliament, as part of ongoing meetings with the party over issues for the local industry.

The meetings with the party will continue into next week. The talks are part of an ongoing concerted effort by the PIAA to make legislators aware of the profound impact of expensive or inconsistent energy supply on print, one of the country’s biggest manufacturing industries.

Graham Jamieson says, “One Nation heard about it and decided to investigate. The meetings are ongoing, they will have follow up questions in April. We have another meeting on Tuesday, and I have asked Atish to come with me again.

On the meeting with Scott, Jamieson says, “Once again, we were met with surprise as to the scale and importance of the printing industry to our economy.

[Related: NSW printers to benefit from $30m upskilling]

“We stressed the urgency of energy relief to our sector and Scott appeared genuinely interested in the policies recommended by the association.

“We also raised awareness that WA was the only state that does not allow businesses to sell excess solar energy back to the grid. With margins being so tight, there is an advantage to being able to gain something back from that. There are quite a printers in the state who run on solar, I know about three or four myself. Most of them are big businesses and they do not work on the weekends, so that power being generated on Saturdays and Sundays is going straight back into the grid, but they are not getting anything from it.”

The PIAA says it is also raising awareness to other areas of priority for the industry such as vocational education and training.

Jamieson says, “We made it clear from a manufacturing industry perspective that the recent decision of the WA government to abolish the payroll tax exemption for apprentices and trainees will impact the motivation of business to train new employees.”

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