This is The Australian newspaper’s National correspondent, Lenore Tanner’s final paragraphs of her comment piece in the national newspaper on Saturday. Anyone who is unsure, unclear or couldn’t care less about this issue should read it and be informed….
…. (Finance Minister Lindsay) “Tanner is probably right when he says neither side of this debate has a statistically proven case — Dymocks and Big W have not proven the promised price falls, nor how much of the price benefit they would take as profit. But nor have the publishers been explicit about the erosion of their profits under the changes or the exact consequences for what they would then be able to publish.
Nor is it clear what the next 40 years, or even the next four years for that matter, will mean for an industry facing rapid change. The import ban does not apply to individuals buying online, but it is not yet clear what the laws can proscribe for e-book delivery forms such as Kindle or the impact on the industry of the boom overseas in print-on-demand.
But as things stand, I think the risk of paying more for some books is well outweighed by the risk of not having the range of locally published books available to buy.
That’s why I hope Rudd listens to Keneally, Tanner listens to Flanagan and the cabinet listens to the grassroots of its party, as reflected in the findings of its special committee. Even free-traders need to acknowledge there are some things every nation should protect. Surely high on that list should be its own culture in all its complexity, its own ideas in all their diversity and the people and industries to tell and disseminate them.”
Thank you, Lenore for being succinct in your words – your passion for books shines through.