Author Archive

  • Riposte! Printing Industries strikes back

    Last week environmental blogger Laurel Brunner contributed a series of blogs published by Print 21 titled Spreading the Suitability Message. Throughout the series Brunner accused industry groups of failing to do anything substantive about suitability.

    Brunner a UK-based author neglected to recognise the significant long-term contribution the Printing Industries Association of Australia has made toward sustainability through its nationally recognised Sustainable Green Print (SGP) program.

    SGP is Australia’s best recognised and most widely implemented industry sustainability program. Developed over ten years by the PIAA the program was launched in 2009, and since then has been implemented in hundreds of print businesses nationally and required by government as part of some tendering processes.

    PIAA was the first Australian industry group to develop a market-based suitability program, and today SGP remains a well subscribed benefit to PIAA members.

    Part of SGP’s formation was to counter green washing claims within the broader manufacturing industry. Today rigorous accreditation and annual re-accreditation lies at the heart of the program’s credibility, something which PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay recognises as critical to the program’s ongoing success, “Sustainability programs are only as credible as their minimum standards and the reliability of these being enforced. SGP has topped it’s class nationally on both counts.”

    The programs structure takes participant businesses through three levels of accreditation, the top level being comparable to the base level requirements for ISO14001. Each level has key deliverables that must be demonstrated to auditors over several months before a business is accredited. Businesses must then demonstrate on a monthly basis that sustainability targets are met and report annually to maintain accreditation.

    A major party of the program’s ongoing success is the positive commercial proposition it offers print businesses. By reducing waste and energy expenditure businesses save money, particularly during a time of high energy costs, SGP provides a practical and inexpensive solution to increase margins. As well as this business report a strong positive response from their clients and have found ongoing commercial advantage when tendering for work – particularly to government and the not-for-profit sector.

    Part of SGP’s long-term success is that the programs recognises the commercial realities of the industry, as illustrated by CEO Andrew Macaulay, “SGP has proven its longevity because it was developed to meet environmental outcomes while remaining relevant to our industry. For print businesses faced with an increasing cost of energy a savvy program like SGP makes a lot of sense.”  

    Credit where credit is due, PIAA has invested and encouraged participation in the SGP program over a decade, the continued success of the program should be celebrated as a commercially viable example of improving our industries sustainability. The program is open to all print businesses and PIAA welcomes the opportunity to speak to printers keen to learn more.










  • Welcome to the … Media Super NPA

    Naming rights for the national competition goes to the industry super fund that already sponsors the state-based Picas

    Printing Industries has announced that Media Super will become a major supporter of the National Print Awards, taking naming rights for the annual competition and presenting two major awards each year.

    “We are delighted to announce this new partnership agreement, which will see Media Super significantly increase its financial support for the Awards, in addition to the support it already generously provides for State-based awards and a number of other key industry initiatives,” said Printing Industries’ CEO Bill Healey today.

    “As well as a name change to the Media Super National Print Awards, the new partnership will see the continuation of the Media Super Young Executive of the Year Award, which recognises the achievements and leadership qualities of young people in the industry, and the reintroduction of the Media Super Industry Legend Award, which will pay tribute to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry over his or her career.”

    These awards will be judged by a specially appointed panel of industry leaders in consultation with Media Super representatives. They will be in addition to the existing Gold Sponsor Awards by Heidelberg Australia, Currie Group and Fuji-Xerox Australia.

    “We are delighted to put our name and our support behind this terrific event," Graeme Russell

    Media Super CEO Graeme Russell said that the new arrangement is just one more indication of the importance the industry’s own super fund places on supporting its industry.

    “Our commitment to the print and graphic communications sector is well known and we are always looking for ways in which we can provide support for important industry initiatives,” he said today.

    “The National Print Awards have made an enormous contribution to the industry over more than 30 years. They encourage and recognise the achievement of excellence in print in this country – and of course, also provide a wonderful opportunity each year for our industry to come together and celebrate its achievements.”

    “We are delighted to put our name and our support behind this terrific event. We will continue to work closely with Printing Industries and the wider industry to ensure that an NPA gold continues to provide the ultimate recognition for print service providers in Australia and the Media Super National Print Awards remains the preeminent event on the Australian graphic arts calendar.”


  • AusPost annual report undermines mail crisis claims

    Australia Post’s Annual report shows that CEO, Ahmed Fahour’s claim that mail volumes are in free-fall is not correct, according to the alliance representing employer groups and unions.

    “The annual report clearly shows that mail volumes are falling at a manageable 5% a year, not the 12 % claimed by Australia Post in the BCG report released in June”, said alliance spokesperson and Printing Industries CEO Bill Healey.

    “While we all recognise the challenges facing the mail industry, a decline of 5percent is not the crisis that the Australia Post CEO would like the Australian community to believe it is,” Mr Healey said.

    “It is also important to note that the underlying profit reported by Australia Post, before one off costs such as restructuring, is actually up by over 10 per cent to $518 million,” he said.

    The alliance brings together business groups representing printers and mail houses including Printing Industries Association of Australia, Licenced Post Offices (LPO Group) and unions the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

    “Our organisations have come together to voice our concern about the future of Australia Post. Australia Post has failed to outline a clear strategic direction on how it intends to deal with the challenges resulting from the emergence of the digital economy,” Mr Healey said.

    “To make matters worse, Australia Post is deliberately ignoring the views of the Australian community and the findings of their own research.”

    An Australia Post consumer survey found that:

    • 85% of people read their mail on the day it is received.
    • 98% of people open their mail compared to only 20-25% for email.
    • 67% of people still prefer to get their bills and bank statements through the mail and this figure is increasing.

    The Alliance is calling for:

    The retention of all of Australia Post’s existing community service obligations.

    The restoration of ACCC oversight of price increases in bulk lodged mail and the monitoring of service standards, as is currently the case of with Post’s community service obligations.

    The establishment of a bipartisan round table also involving all industry stakeholders to examine options for Australia Post’s future with oversight of proposals and outcomes by the senate communications committee.

    “It is time Australia Post worked with industry stakeholders and the community to develop a clear strategic direction for the future of mail services rather than misleading the Australian public on the continuing effectiveness and demand for traditional mail,” Mr Healey said.

    “Greater oversight is required of the management of Australia Post to ensure that a significant public asset is not irreparably damaged.”

  • Save on health and safety with new self-compliance test and tag service

    A new Printing Industries service will cut a workplace health and safety compliance cost for members by allowing them to do electrical test and tagging in-house.

    Electrical test and tagging is an OHSW responsibility to ensure portable electrical appliances are regularly checked and tested and safe for use to Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760 and 3012. It involves visually inspecting and electrically testing in-service electrical equipment for personal safety, a task usually carried out by an electrical contractor or specialist test and tag company.

    Printing Industries National Director, Communication Technology and Creative Service, Joe Kowalewski, (right)  said the new service, available through the Association’s Better Business website ( provides a day’s training for a nominated staff member, appliance tester and associated equipment for companies to begin their own testing.

    “Many companies don’t realise that testing and tagging can be conducted internally and may not require the services of an external provider,” he said. “With some basic training, internal staff can carry out testing and tagging in your own workplace to the required Australian Standard. Not only does this save costs through self-compliance, it can also be advantageous to productivity by allowing the work to be done in specific areas of a printing company at a time most suitable to production requirements.”

    The training is available through Printing Industries‘ Better Business partner Tag & Test Training, a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in Australia and New Zealand and supplier to the electrical safety industry.

    “Our members have available a specially discounted package of training and equipment to get them underway. In business all avenues to reduce costs have to be explored and this is one of the many services Printing Industries has that can help improve bottom-line performance,” he said.

    Printing Industries will feature Tag & Test Training in its webinar program on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 at 1pm (AEST). Click here to register for the 30-minute webinar which will explain test and tag WHS obligations and illustrate how companies can do their own testing.

  • Vale Peter Macdougall AM

    Former Printing Industries’ National Councillor, Peter Macdougall AM, has passed away aged 89.

    Mr Macdougall joined the printing industry in 1946 on his return from Naval Service having served in the “Z” Special Unit in the Pacific during WW2.

    He was a fourth generation managing director of Sands & MacDougall Pty Ltd and after retiring became the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

    Mr Macdougall had a major commitment to industry training. In 1974 he became a member of the National Printing Industry Training Committee and was elected its chairman in 1976. He demonstrated leadership and vision taking on issues of major importance for the development of the industry into the twenty first century.

    In June 1977 the Confederation of Australian Industry was established and he was elected to both its National Trade and industry Councils.

    Mr Macdougall, a former Victorian Regional Councillor of the Printing and Allied Trades Employers Federation of Australia (PATEFA – now Printing Industries Association of Australia)  was also the Association’s National President from 1977 – 1979.

    In 1982 he was appointed Chairman of the National Training Council by the Federal Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. In 1985 he became President of the World Print Congress for Hong Kong.

    Peter MacDougall

    He was chairman of the Council of the Melbourne College of Printing and Graphic Arts, represented the Council on the Technical Schools Association of Victoria and represented the industry on the Government sponsored Printing and Allied Trades Advisory Council and the Productivity Promotion Council of Australia.

    His outstanding contribution for services to the printing industry was recognised when he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 1983 Australia Day Honours Awards.

    Mr Macdougall is survived by his five children, 11 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

    His memorial service will take place on Wednesday morning 13 August at St Georges Church, 296 Glenferrie Road, Malvern Victoria at 10.30am.

    Following the service, a gathering of friends and associates will be held at Giorgio’s Café, corner Glenferrie Road and High Street, from approximately 11.45am.

  • Printing Industries Events update

    Two webinars were announced this week by Joe Kowalewski, communications director of  Printing Industries.

    The first on the practice of producing bar codes will be delivered by industry expert John Lane, Manager of the Bar Code Testing team who has overseen the testing of more than one million bar codes.

    This 30-minute barcoding webinar will feature GS1 Australia, the Australian administrator for the internationally recognised GS1 System. It will be presented by John Lane, Manager of the Bar Code Testing team who has overseen the testing more than one million bar codes. Mr Lane is widely respected and known within the printing and manufacturing industry for his detailed technical and practical knowledge.

    Register Here

    The second by Matt Davis is an Adobe update on recently added features of Creative Cloud.

    Mr Davis spent 11 years in the prepress industry with Show Ads and nearly 18 years with DDB Melbourne and DDB Chicago. He became North American Production Operations Director for Omnicom’s global production brand, Gutenberg Networks. After joining Adobe in November, he returned to Australia in January this year.

    Mr Davis prides himself on having global end-to-end, all channel production experience and a love of technology, Matt can teach a thing or two about building and managing marketing communications in the new digital age.

    Register Here.

    Bookings are now open for Printing Industries updated First Aid course scheduled in Sydney for Tuesday 30 September at the Association’s Auburn office.

    This is a full day, nationally accredited, practical and assessment based course. At the end of the course attendees will receive a nationally accredited First Aid Certificate, a wallet sized First Aid card and a 255 page First Aid manual.

    A self-study theory component is mandatory and must be completed before attending the training session.

    The course will be presented by Chris Cleary, who is well known for presenting previous Printing Industries’ courses. She  and has more than 20 years’ experience as a medic and 15 years’ experience in running first aid courses.