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Labor to establish Australian Universities Press

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Campaign Media Release

Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Kim Carr


Australia’s book industry will have a brighter future and publicly funded research will be more accessible under a re-elected Rudd Labor Government.

The Rudd Labor Government will invest up to $12 million to help Australia’s book industry thrive, partnering with the university sector to establish a national publishing consortium.

Australian Universities Press (AUP) will help academics and students share their work with their peers and the public, by providing a new avenue for scholarly book publishing in Australia.

Federal Labor will also establish a Book Industry Innovation Council following the recommendations of the Book Industry Collaborative Council’s final report released today.

“During a period of significant turmoil in the book industry, Federal Labor has worked with key industry bodies to identify common challenges and come up with strategies to provide practical aid to the whole sector,” Minister Carr said.

“A re-elected Rudd Labor Government will move this advisory capacity to a more permanent footing by establishing a Book Industry Innovation Council. This body will advise government and continue the productive dialogue between different sectors of the industry that its predecessors have enabled.”

Minister Carr said the new AUP will be another boost to the industry by reducing costs and increasing collaboration to see more scholarly works made available to build knowledge and enrich public discourse.

“University publishers of all kinds will share resources, infrastructure and funding to establish AUP, with the Rudd Labor Government matching their financial investment dollar for dollar.

“Too much publicly funded research and writing remains unpublished, or under-exposed, particularly in the humanities, arts and social sciences, and with this initiative we want to bring more of that work into prominence in the public domain.

“Not all research work suits the format of journal articles and we should take advantage of the digital age, and Federal Labor’s nation building NBN, to overcome some of these longstanding barriers to publication.

“Since 2007, Labor has increased spending on higher education teaching, learning and research by nearly 70 per cent, and we are continuing to increase it.

“However, the capacity for the sector to disseminate research has not grown in parallel. AUP will go a long way to remedying this gap between knowledge and publication.”

AUP will include a production platform, a searchable e-book catalogue to improve market exposure, and a fund to ensure publicly funded research and writing reaches a much wider audience, in print or in pixels.

Federal Labor will provide up to $4 million per annum towards AUP over three years.

“This investment builds on Federal Labor’s long standing commitment to our national book industry,” Minister Carr said.

“This sector is vital to ensuring issues relevant to Australia, as well as Australian engagement in fields of international concern, are addressed in a considered and evidence-based way. It keeps us in the global race for knowledge.”

Funding for this measure is included in the budget.

A copy of the report is available at