The Productivity Commission is now recommending that parallel import restrictions apply for only 12 months, but Printing Industries CEO Philip Andersen (pictured) claimed that there was no problem with the existing restrictions and that the federal government was attempting to “railroad people into believing they had found a miracle cure for a non existent condition”.
“What we need is a prescription to stimulate economic recovery and good health rather than the half pregnant diagnosis proffered in this report,” Andersen said.
“Despite the fact that overwhelmingly the submissions made to the inquiry supported the current parallel import restrictions, including submissions from the Victorian and South Australian Government, the Productivity Commission is recommending that parallel import restrictions apply for only a limited period of time, which will have the effect of reducing the number of books printed in Australia, particularly reprints.
“It seems that while the Productivity Commission can acknowledge the critical contribution of domestic book printing industry by wanting to preserve parallel import restrictions for 12 months, it wants to dump the industry in favour of imports after that time.
“Where is the stimulus for employment and investment in an Australian industry? Where is the rationale for the Commission to totally overrule the aspirations of that industry and the thousands of people it employs, particularly in regional areas, in favour of imports when there is no economic rationale to do so?”
The printing industry body has been invited by the federal government to a round table meeting on April 8 to discuss the draft report.
“Besides opposing the main recommendation that the 30-day rule should apply for a 12 month period we are also against the recommendation to hold yet another review in five years time,” said Printing Industries‘ national manager for policy and government affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian. “We have now had six inquiries during the last two decades and the Productivity Commission has the audacity to propose another inquiry while it is still in the midst of the current inquiry.”
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