Page 16 - Print 21 Magazine Nov-Dec 2018
P. 16

draws record numbers of MPs and senators
In an industry first, the PIAA invited federal politicians to meet printers in Parliament, and a record number turned up to be given first-hand insight into the industry, reports Print21 editor Wayne Robinson.
By any measure the inaugural Print2Parliament was a stirring success, certainly
in terms of the numbers
of people that were there. Several of the politicians attending
remarked that there were more MPs and Senators at the event than at any other they had been at. Printers too had made a serious effort to be there, coming from NSW, Victoria, Queensland and West Australia.
Created by the PIAA as a means of confronting the nation’s policymakers with the realities
of print, the Print2Parliament event certainly did that. With the backdrop of the stunning National Print Award-winning jobs, the pollies and printers enjoyed drinks and canapés while they talked – and talk they did, with myriad
Above: Senator Eric Abetz; Paul Fletcher MP; Theo Pettaras, DigitalPress.
earnest conversations taking place focusing on the top six issues printers are facing: energy, skills training, IR, the environment, AusPost pricing, and the non- existent buy-Aussie print strategy of federal and state governments.
Politicians of renown and those
who are simply representing their constituencies were in abundance: Liberals Eric Abetz and Michael Sukkar; Wayne Swan and Louise Pratt from Labor; One Nation leader Pauline Hanson; and independent David Leyonhelm were just a few of the more than 60 politicians at the event. Various related association representatives were also there, including Sarah Runcie from the Australian Publishers Association, and James Pearson, the head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Andrew Macaulay, CEO of the PIAA, says, “This level of engagement can only be beneficial to the print industry. The MPs and senators
were clearly listening to the printers present. We all need to work together to take the industry forwards.
“This event highlights the benefits of working with politicians – it is clearly effective.”
New PIAA board member Theo Pettaras, owner of Digitalpress, welcomed the guests, telling them printing was a capital intensive, advanced manufacturing industry which employs some 35,000 Australians and operates in virtually every constituency in the country. He invited the politicians to inspect the print on display.
Former minister Kevin Andrews told Print21 he was there to learn, that he believed in books and in supporting small business, and said the government’s new 25 per cent tax rate was designed to help.
Liberal MP Michael Sukkar
gave the first of the bipartisan welcomes from the politicians. Calling it a ‘wonderful occasion’, Sukkar said that printers were a barometer of the economy, and said that politicians would do well to maintain close relations with the printing industry. He paid tribute to what he said was ‘the great energy’ of PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay,
and encouraged all the politicians present to listen to the printers.
Former federal treasurer Wayne Swan spoke on behalf of the Labor Party, which is aiming to be in power next year. He acknowledged that 35,000 Australians are employed in print, and said it was a pleasure to see so many of his fellow senators and MPs at the event – more, he said, than he had seen at any other. “Politicans and printers are joined

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