The grass-roots workers behind the front of the SAVING AUSSIE BOOKS campaign have been mainly authors who write for children and young adults.
We took on this battle because we believe Australian children have the indisputable right to read stories set in their own country, with our language, ideals, experiences, in-your-face and sometimes irreverent humour, subtleness and spelling.
And with your support, I believe we have had an impact in this fight against Parallel Imports of Books, exactly what we and our thousands of supporters set out to do.
So far it appears the majority of the ALP Caucus in the Federal Government appreciates these sentiments too – let’s hope they hold true to their convictions.
So take heart, even though the PI battle continues it appears that the focus has shifted – those who were most strongly opposed to the current restrictions are now no longer pushing for their abolition and are seeking compromises to solve this issue.
Our Petition against the removal of Parallel Importation Restrictions was certified as ‘being in accordance with Standing Orders’, and presented in the House on 19th October by the Hon Arch Bevis, Member for Brisbane.
The petition of 2,097 signatures has now been referred to the Attorney-General. Unfortunately, the number of signatures on this batch of petitions couldn’t include the further late-coming ones posted after the date I took this lot to Canberra and presented them to supportive MPs.
Since then many more signatures have appeared on this website petition – presently totalling 1445 and many more Australians have become aware of the PI issue and of our concerns as Australian authors.
This is an excerpt from Arch Bevis’s speech:
The petition…is signed by 2,097 Australians and asks that the parliament retain the current restrictions on parallel importation of books. This is a petition which I and a number of members of the parliament received from a group of authors and others involved in the Australian creative arts industries. It is clearly an important issue and I urge all members of parliament to give it proper regard.
Click here for the whole speech.
On behalf of authors, our supporters and the children of Australia we would like to thank ALP MPs, Arch Bevis, Steve Gibbons, Graham Perrett, and other ALP Government Members who added their weight; and also the Australian Greens’ Senators.