SA worried at risk to print jobs

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SA worried at risk to print jobs

The South Australian Government has joined the opposition to the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to end protection for the Australian book publishing industry.

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The South Australian Government has joined the opposition to the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to end protection for the Australian book publishing industry.
 
Under laws introduced in 1991, Australian publishers are given 30 days to publish a local version of any book published in the world. Bookshops must then sell the Australian version and a publisher has 90 days to re-supply on request. If they fail to meet that deadline, that book can be imported — ie the publishers lose territorial copyright.
 
SA Premier Mike Rann said the Federal Government should scrap any plans it may have to change laws in Australia that have the potential to lose significant numbers of jobs in South Australia’s publishing industry.
 
Earlier this year, the South Australian Government made a submission to the Productivity Commission opposing any recommendation it may make to change the current parallel import provision for books.
 
Nurturing motive
 
Rann said:
‘This provision, known as the 30/90 day rule, was put in place to nurture and protect Australian authors, publishers and printers.
 
Premiers and Chief Ministers are united in their stand against any moves to abolish these import rules.
 
Under [the current] provision, Australia’s and in particular, South Australia’s publishing industry has flourished. Local authors such as Kerry Argent, Mem Fox, Gillian Rubinstein, David Cornish, Peter Goldsworthy and Philip Jones have established themselves in a tough and competitive book industry.
 
There are now more than 2500 South Australians employed in the printing industry and publishers such as Wakefield Press and Griffin Press produce multiple runs of locally-authored books each year.
 
Our growing book industry is at risk of losing jobs and millions of dollars in production if the Federal Government decides to adopt the Productivity Commission recommendations to scrap the valued 30/90 day rule.’
 
Industry in peril
 
Rann said scrapping the rule will mean our markets are flooded with cheap imports and our own Australian book publishing industry will be placed in peril.
‘If local authors have to compete with others to have their work published by foreign publishers, there is a real risk that any Australian-written books will be re-written to suit the country in which it is published — ie a wheelie bins will become "trash cans". Our books will be "de-Australianised".
 
Premiers and Chief Ministers will be making our very strong views known to the Prime Minister at the next COAG meeting, later this year.’
 
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