Printers lobby pollies at Parliament

The Print to Parliament event, organised by the PIAA, saw printers have a chance to get up close and personal with state and national MPs, including representatives from the Coalition, Labor, and multiple independents.


A gallery from the event can be seen on the Australian Printer website here.


The attendees included Wayne Swan MP, who gave an address, Senator Pauline Hanson, Tony Burke MP, Senator Eric Abetz, Senator David Leyonhjelm and Michael Sukkar MP, who also presented on the night.


Many printers took the chance to speak to One Nation senator Pauline Hanson, including Teresa del Castillo, marketing manager, Tafeda, who says, “What we want is politicians and industry to know that we exist. We are a unique company that adds value to paper, by enhancing the surface with textures. We can convert most paper and boards into a specialty.


“With so many Australian paper mills closed down, people think that you need to import specialty papers. It is not true, we can do it locally. We developed the whole systems from scratch, including machinery.


“We are happy and love what we do. It is both a business and a hobby at same time, where we enjoy our day to day activities and challenges to survive the future. This industry has ups and downs, a bit of a rollercoaster, and this makes it hard manage cash flow, hard to plan and know how much more we want to invest.


“We are a small family and regional business focus to provide the best service all times to our existing customers. Their satisfaction and referrals it is of paramount importance for us. We support Australian made products, local trades and other small business.


“Because we are a such a specialised industry, when we look for employees we look for someone with the right attitude and willingness to learn. To found the right one is a difficult and challenging task.”


Daniel Ogle, managing director, Who Printing, says, “I spoke with MP Merryl Swanson from the Paterson electorate about apprentices, and what we can do to get more coming through, especially in the offset side of things. We have advertised for printers, and over the last three years have had to bring in two printers and a binder in on visas. We cannot get qualified printers and bindery staff.


“It is a big issue for us. Skilled workers to employ are our number one priority. We are looking to expand and grow over the next three years, so we will need more employees.”


Andrew Macaulay, CEO, PIAA, says, “Around 63 politicians came through, we had senior government ministers, crossbenchers and senior members of the opposition. The event was noteworthy because of the interaction between printers and politicians, they were engaged.


“There were three division bells, where politicians have to leave and vote on policy. Usually the bell rings, they leave and they are gone, they do not come back. At our event last night, politicians kept coming back.


“Our members are excited, they want it to happen again. We are the peak body, and it could become something we do annually. It was a culmination, in that we linked it with International Print Day and the National Print Awards and it was greatly successful.


“There were also paper suppliers, we had printers from the east coast and a delegate from WA, there was good representation for different areas.”


Print to Parliament coincided with International Print Day, with the Queensland branch of the LIA also holding an event at Ricoh’s Brisbane offices at the same time.


Mel Ireland, federal president, LIA, says, “Around 40 people turned up to celebrate print in Brisbane, so we want to give a huge shout out to Ricoh team for supporting the event.


“As the theme for IPD18 was Collaboration, we asked for people to bring in samples to share and talk about.


“There was a mix of printers, designers, suppliers attending. There was a short presentation from myself about the effectiveness of print as part of advertising campaigns. I also talked to and shared some examples of innovative print techniques that are happening here and around the globe, from energy drinks that are made from 3D-polycapsule printed cups to flexible format, solid state batteries that are printed roll to roll.”


Ireland also discussed how disruption not being unique to the print industry, giving examples of other industries that are being disrupted, and what they are doing to combat that.

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