A Shorten Labor Government will support our local publishing industry, and ensure authors can keep telling the Australian stories we love so dearly, by maintaining restrictions against imports of foreign copies of books that are published in Australia.
The Australian book industry employs over 20,000 people and makes a huge contribution to arts and culture.
The Government wants to remove parallel import restrictions, which would damage the local industry and jobs, with no real benefit to consumers.
Australians can already buy books published in other countries online in small amounts, and can continue to do so, but parallel import restrictions on books stop cheaper foreign copies of books being brought into the country in bulk, undercutting our local market.
Following significant consultation after the election, Labor has determined the balance falls on the side of keeping these parallel import restrictions in place.
Removing parallel import restrictions would undercut Australia’s flourishing publishing industry, which nurtures local authors who produce the stories which are so meaningful to Australians.
It would also mean serious job losses in the Australian book printing industry, many of them manufacturing workers, and it would hurt independent booksellers who rely on ‘sell or return’ policies from local publishers to stay afloat.
In New Zealand, the removal of parallel import restrictions dramatically reduced the production of local writing and decimated the local publishing industry. We do not want to see our publishers, authors and booksellers suffer the same fate.
This Christmas, many Australians are stocking up on books by their favourite Australian writers, to give to their loved ones or to read on the beach themselves. It’s an important tradition.
Labor will continue to fight for our Australian stories, and the tens of thousands of jobs which depend on a strong book publishing industry.
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FRIDAY, 9 DECEMBER 2016