By now, you would have heard the anguished cries of authors around Australia railing against the Productivity Commission’s recommendations to lift all Parallel Importation Restrictions (PIR). The Commission’s report can be summed up a few keypoints:
- repeal PIR protecting Australian publishers and independent booksellers in 3 years
- ‘review’ the financial assistance needs of the Australian literary sector
- ABS to survey industry and measure impact of changes in 5 years
In case you didn’t catch the drift there, the Commission is recommending that the currently self-sustaining Australian literary sector be forced to take taxpayer handouts, so that profits can be syphoned off to big booksellers.
Heading the media charge to spin these findings in favour of Australian readers is Dymocks CEO, Don Grover, who heads up the so-called Coalition for Cheaper Books."This will only serve to bring in a more competitive market," says Grover. Excuse me? How is a market where smaller booksellers are wiped out and fewer Australian titles available for sale more competitive? Ah, I see, he mispoke. He clearly meant to say "…a more profitable market. For me." Got it.
Bob Carr claims the report is "A win for Australian literacy". Awesome! This from the man whose political legacy has been to completely trash the infrastructure of the state of New South Wales, and now has the Australian writing and publishing industry in his sights. Good to see he is at least consistent in his strip mining approach to social equity and infrastructure, since the books available to Aussie kids will finally teach them how to pronounce "mom" and "zee" correctly. Bring on the Republic.