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Monday, 14 September 2009
Page: 9536

Mr GIBBONS (6:46 PM) —I present this petition of 3,885 signatures of mainly Maryborough residents requesting that the Productivity Commission recommendation to remove the parallel import restrictions on books be rejected. In addition to the 3,885 signatures on the petition, another 1,300 of these coupons have been published in each edition of the Maryborough Advertiser over the past month or so. Maryborough has a population of just over 8,000 people, so this means that more than half the population have recorded their strong opposition to the removal of parallel import restrictions. Why? Because they know that this has the potential to decimate Maryborough’s biggest employer, McPherson’s Print Group, who employ around 300 to 350 employees or residents.

The Maryborough Advertiser sent a letter to the Prime Minister, published on the front page of the Friday, 14 August edition, requesting his intervention. The removal of parallel import restrictions will not only decimate the printing and publishing industries but also severely retard Australian authors’ ability to get their work published. Imagine an Australia without books by Patrick White, Tim Winton or Kate Grenville. Imagine an Australia where the only places you can buy books are supermarkets or discount stores. Imagine an Australia where the only books they stock are written by Americans, about Americans and for Americans. This is what is at stake if parallel import restrictions are removed as requested by the Productivity Commission.

The petition read as follows—

To the Honourable The Speaker and members of the House of Representatives:

We the undersigned citizens of central Victoria wish to draw to the attention of the House that the Productivity Commission has recommended the removal of the Parallel Import Restrictions on books. Such a proposal if enacted would result in the loss of hundreds of jobs in this community and make a significant downward impact on the economy of the area.

Your petitioners therefore ask the House to reject the recommendation of the Productivity Commission regarding Parallel Import Restrictions on books and to retain the current arrangements.

from 3,885 citizens

Petition received