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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 699

Dear Mrs Irwin

I refer to your letter dated 22 October 2009, attaching the petition submitted to your Committee, signed by 2,097 concerned Australians, regarding the review by the Productivity Commission of the provisions relating to the parallel importation of books under the Copyright Act 1968.

The Government has not accepted the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to remove the existing parallel importation restrictions on books.

Australian book printing and publishing is under strong competitive pressure from international online booksellers and the Government has formed the view that this pressure is likely to intensify. In addition, the technology of electronic books (e-books) will continue to improve, with further innovations and price reductions expected.

In the circumstances of intense competition from online books and e-books, the Government has judged that changing the regulations governing book imports would be unlikely to have any material effect on the availability of books in Australia.

I hope this information is of assistance to the Committee.

from the Attorney-General, Mr McClelland