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Greens stand to protect Australia’s publishing industry

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 9 Sep 2009

The Australian Greens today outlined their commitment to protect the diversity of the Australian publishing industry for authors and readers, as the Federal Government considers handing over greater control to big book chains.

"The Productivity Commission's recommendation to scrap parallel import restrictions on books would hand more power and profits to overseas book chains, impacting heavily on small, independent publishers and book stores, and reducing much-needed support for new and established writers," said Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.

"Following New Zealand's decision to lift parallel importation restrictions in 1998, 12% of publishers in that country registered a decline in business."

"The impact of this same move in Australia is likely to be particularly disadvantageous to Australian writers, cause job losses in the domestic printing industry and less Australian books to be published," said Senator Ludlam.

"It is not enough for Kevin Rudd to pose for photos alongside Cate Blanchett at every opportunity. If he wants a truly thriving, healthy Australian arts industry, stop procrastinating and put the matter to rest," said Greens arts spokesperson Senator Christine Milne.

"Is the ALP really going to stand by and let our diverse and uniquely Australian writing and publishing industry be swallowed up by foreign imports?" she said.

The Greens are calling on the Prime Minister to make the Government's position clear and rule out any changes to parallel import restrictions on books.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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