This media event was to highlight opposition from former NSW Premier and current Dymock’s board member, Bob Carr’s plan to radically alter Australia’s publishing landscape through the lifting of the restrictions on the parallel import of books.
Silvey said, “Currently, Australian book retailers must buy books from local publishers and distributors, which means that the money stays within the local industry rather than disappearing to large companies overseas.”
“If this changes, local publishers will struggle to survive and they will be much less likely to take risks on new Australian talent. It will be much harder for new and young Australian writers to become established.”
Senator Ludlum said that after New Zealand lifted parallel importation restrictions in 1998, 12 % of publishers in that country registered a decline in business. “Not only will this reduce diversity amongst Australian authorship, we can also expect this to cause job losses in the domestic printing industry and less Australian books to be published,” Senator Ludlum said.
According to Senator Ludlum, “If Mr Rudd is truthful about wanting a thriving Australian arts industry, he will not support this proposal.”
Federal Cabinet is expected to consider the proposal this Monday 19th October.