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Book import plans put Adelaide jobs at risk

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The Australian book publishing and printing industry could disintegrate if the Federal Government goes ahead with plans to drop import restrictions, book publishers and printers have warned.

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The Government has accepted a recommendation from the Competition Policy Review to drop parallel import restrictions which protect local publishers and printers by limiting what books can be imported by retailers.

HarperCollins publishing operations director Robyn Fritchley said that would result in smaller local print runs which could become uneconomical.

Australia’s largest book printer, Griffin Press in Adelaide, said there was no real evidence that the change to import rules would result in lower prices for consumers.

“But there is a very real possibility the whole local publishing and print industry could disintegrate,” Griffin Press chief executive Ben Jolly said.

Griffin Press currently employs 105 people in Adelaide and says those jobs could be at risk, while Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said the changes could threaten 20,000 jobs across the $2 billion local book industry.

“The Turnbull Government keeps talking about jobs and growth and innovation yet the overwhelming feedback that I and my team’s candidates have received from authors, publishers, artists and others in the industry is that this plan will hinder creativity and innovation and cost jobs,” he said.

-AAP

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