Archive for September, 2008

  • FedEx Kinko’s closes Australian stores

    FedEx Kinko’s exits the local printing game, closing down all its 11 Australian stores.

    FedEx Kinko’s has stores located throughout Sydney and Melbourne that according to company spokesperson, Jenny Robertson, were not making enough profit to remain commercially viable.

    "Given our limited presence in Australia, the support costs to operate our printing centres exceeded the revenue we were able to generate from those locations," she said.

    "We did not make this decision lightly," Robertson admitted. "We are focussing on markets where we have a larger presence."

    Australia is not the only country to fall under FedEx Kinko’s axe. Operations in Mexico and the Netherlands will also close, and the United Kingdom may follow. In the United States, 200 employees were made redundant as part of a restructure. "We reorganised our headquarters and support functions [in the US]," Robertson said.

    Robertson was not able to specify a date for the Australian closures. "We are working with our landlords to determine closing dates for each location," she said.

    Staff from one Sydney city branch said that they expected their store to close early next year.

    Blake Watermeier, CEO of FedEx Kinko’s Australia was unavailable for comment.

  • Stephen paper sales keep kids cooking

    Spicers Paper donates $100 for every tonne of Stephen stock sold to trainee cooks at the Fifteen Foundation.

    The announcement was made at the Fifteen restaurant in Melbourne last month, drawing the attendance of 150 designers and print managers. Fifteen was founded by UK celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, in 2001 as a social enterprise to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to undertake a chef apprenticeship.

    "Our involvement with Fifteen is an exciting and inspirational partnership that can ultimately assist with transforming young lives," said Richard Collins, national marketing manager of Spicers Paper.

    Pictured below: Fifteen apprentices cook for Melbourne designers and printers.

    Spicers Paper has also teamed up with design company Studio Pip & Co; photographer Earl Carter; writer Andrew Pegler and printers Gunn & Taylor to create the booklet, Make a difference – sponsor the Fifteen Foundation, in an attempt to allow Fifteen to attract new sponsors. Stephen stock is also donated for Fifteen’s menus and other printed collateral and the Spicers sales teams will be spreading the Fifteen Foundation message to the community.

    "We hope all our designers, printers and corporate clients appreciate the value of Fifteen’s work and choose Stephen for their printed communications wherever possible," Collins said.

  • Heidelberg refutes local lay offs claim

    Andy Vels Jensen, managing director, HAN, forecasts stormy financial weather ahead and a weaker market for offset presses, but says plenty of printers are running at peak capacity.

    Responding to allegations that the company was slashing its workforce, he said that while HAN has let go five employees and left some vacancies unfilled, it has also taken on eight new employees in other areas where there is growth.

    “The market challenges which we are facing are not much different from the rest of the industry or the rest of the world for that matter,” he said. ”Anyone who says they are not worried or impacted by what’s happening in the financial sector these days, is either living on a different planet or not responsible for managing a business, people or a family. Navigating through stormy waters is when you earn your keep, not when things are honky dory and plain sailing!”

    He described recent changes as fairly basic and prudent cost savings relating to buildings and other efforts, which have no affect on customers. Overall Heidelberg claims a much higher market share than it has over the past eight years. Despite the weak market Vels Jensen maintains that most printers are now in their busy season and are running at peak capacities and utilization rates.

    “Heidelberg ANZ has been around for 84 years and we have plenty of good reasons to keep it that way so we move with the punches and the ever changing market conditions. The experts call it being market driven and responding to client needs. Commonsense actually.

    “We have so far not seen any reason to implement a restructure or major downsizing of the business in ANZ as we are still enjoying the business generated through installing more than 2,200 printing units following our restructure in 2001. Having said that, these days who knows what next year will bring, let alone next week!”

  • Anicolor makes its way to New Zealand

    Heidelberg holds Open House to mark the arrival of the first Anicolor press in New Zealand.

    The Anicolor inking technology was first launched by Heidelberg at IPEX in 2006. On 2 December, the company will be demonstrating the press at its Auckland showroom in an attempt to spread the word to New Zealand.

    Hemi Brown, (pictured) general manager of Heidelberg New Zealand said that he was excited about bringing Anicolor to the local market.

    "Judging from the response in Australia and elsewhere in the world, I am certain Anicolor will be very popular here in New Zealand as well," he said.

    "I saw the crowds and interest in the Anicolor presentation areas at drupa, and our aim is to bring some of that back to our Auckland showroom."

    Those who attended drupa were intrigued by the press, which makes Brown feel positive of the Open House’s reception. "I expect that the press will be sold before it reaches our shores," he said. "Several customers had a close look at Anicolor at drupa and the response was overwhelmingly positive."

    Brown did not wish to predict how many Anicolor presses would be sold in New Zealand, adding that he believes it to be truly "revolutionary".

    "We have a good body of production data to show … just what a difference Anicolor makes, particularly for short-run work," he said.

  • Press Release Almanac: 1 October 2008

    Keep up to date with the latest industry news. This week’s announcements include releases from Starleaton, Inca Digital Printers and Spicers Paper.

    Starleaton takes on Taklite re-positionable polyester films
    Inca Digital launches new high-speed Spyder V flatbed printer
    Starwhite’s new environmental credentials shine

    Starleaton Digital Solutions has been appointed exclusive Australian distributor for the revolutionary UK-invented Hydrosol TAKLITE range of re-positionable solvent films. These films are not static cling or low-tack adhesive, they employ a unique suction-cling form of nanotechnology.

    SDS director Gary Smith comments: "The best way to describe Hydrosol TAKLITE’s ability to stick to most smooth surfaces, but be easily removed, is that the adhesive side has millions of tiny ‘Gekko feet’ like the cute lizards we see here all through summer. It sucks to the surface and therefore can be cleanly removed and re-positioned by peeling it off. Static cling films can fail over time, especially if they get damp. Low-tack adhesive can harden and leave residue that is difficult to remove. Hydrosol TAKLITE can be left on surfaces for years and leave only a ‘sweat’ mark that is removed with a dry cloth."

    Hydrosol TAKLITE can be printed with most solvent, low solvent, Eco-solvent and UV cure inks from Roland, Mutoh, Seiko, VuteK and others. Three grades are available ex-stock from SDS:

    TAKLITE Matt White – For short-term signs, posters and graphics on glass, acrylic board and other smooth surfaces, indoors or outdoors. Anti-reflective, ideal for window displays.
    TAKLITE Gloss Backllit – Front print with high colour brilliance, has a light-diffusing back coat and is weather and scuff resistant. Slashes labour time in removing and changing backlit signs.
    TAKLITE Clear – A see-through film with high gloss coating, yet holds colour extremely well. Ideal for glass applications where transparency is needed along with graphics.

    All Hydrosol TAKLITE grades are available in 914mm and 1372mm rolls.

    "The best way to appreciate these remarkable products is to try them so we have initiated a sampling programme of both pre-printed and unprinted TAKLITE  films. Our first shipment is almost sold out but we have more on the way," says Garry Smith, " a lot of glass, metal and gloss painted surfaces will have TAKLITE’s little Gekko-feet clinging to them very shortly!"


    Inca Digital Printers announces the introduction of the Inca Spyder V, a new, faster printer based on the design of the popular and highly successful Spyder series of flatbed inkjet printers.

    The Spyder V printer has a unique Inca designed printhead array to achieve a higher throughput than other Spyder 320 printers. Print speed is up to 93m_/hr in production mode with a maximum speed of 130m_/hr.

    The Spyder V has a print area of 3.2 x 1.6m on substrates as thick as 30mm. While the standard colour set of the Spyder V is four colour CMYK, a six colour version is also available with the option of using Fujifilm Sericol’s unique Uvijet Ultratone colour system.

    The Inca Spyder V’s 25 picolitre drop size, combined with Inca’s own print module technology, delivers precise ink drop placement, producing the excellent print quality for which Inca is renowned. Its colour management flexibility and easy file set-up with the RIP, plus exceptional white ink opacity make it a highly adaptable system for the display printer producing a range of close viewing point-of-sale materials, external displays, backlit/frontlit displays and graphics.

    Valley Printing in Bingley, UK, the beta test site for the Spyder V and a long time Inca customer, is delighted with the performance of the new printer. "I’m very impressed with its speed, performance and quality," says John Haggas, Chairman and MD. "We produce ink heavy displays for retail POS customers and the Spyder V produces high impact results with good ink adhesion on a tremendous variety of base materials. The beauty of the Spyder is the consistency of the print it produces which reduces waste and keeps production costs down. Plus, I like its small footprint which allows me to pile in/out stock close to the machine."
    The Spyder V will complement other Spyder models in the range.  Its faster speed enables the Spyder V to fill the gap between the traditional Spyder 320 series and the faster Turbo Plus which delivers speeds of up to 160m_/hr. For customers still requiring the widest colour gamut, the 8 colour Spyder 320 will continue to be a preferred option.

    "Although the Spyder 320 is our most popular printer, customer feedback told us that they would like a Spyder printer with speeds closer to that of our Turbos," explains Heather Kendle, Inca Digital’s director of marketing. "Now, our customers can be even more productive, allowing them extra capacity than they were previously able to generate with the 320 range, whilst still offering versatility on colour options, the Spyder V, with 4 or 6-colour options, provides an even greater selection of Spyder printers from which to choose."


    Spicers Paper’s premium writing, text and cover brand, Starwhite, long recognised for its superior smoothness and printability, now has superior environmental credentials as well.

    All of the pulp that goes into Starwhite is sourced from FSC certified forests, ensuring the highest standards in environmentally responsible forest practices. And Neenah Paper, the American company that produces Starwhite, has a strong commitment to its Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) targets, meaning Starwhite is now recognised as being manufactured carbon neutral.

    CCX is a voluntary carbon emissions trading program established by some of America’s leading green-minded corporations and Neenah is one of only two paper companies in the program.

    Neenah Paper exceeded its carbon emissions reduction plan of 6% by 2010 through a unique process called ‘green steam’, used by its mill in Neenah, Wisconsin. This process transfers waste paper sludge through a pipeline to a nearby bio-refinery, where it is processed and returned as steam to run the paper machines and supply electricity -around 60% of the mill’s energy requirements. Additional energy is sourced from a local renewable energy supplier. Another of Neenah’s paper mills, in Ripon, California, utilises solar and hydro to power its water treatment plants, further reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

    Spicers Paper was delighted to have one of Neenah Paper’s top Specification Account Managers, Ingrid Gettleson, launch Starwhite’s new environmental credentials at two Starwhite Star Nights in Melbourne and Sydney. She also announced the addition of a 460gsm Smooth White, adding to the brand’s already versatile range of weights. These events offered guests unique ‘star experiences’ at the Melbourne Planetarium and Sydney Observatory, a subtle reminder about our place in the universe and the importance of protecting our planet.

  • Global downturn savages press maker

    US press buyers dump drupa orders sending KBA into revenue tailspin.

    The German offset press manufacturer is rocked by the reversal of fortunes following its upbeat announcements at the annual general meeting in June. An anticipated increase in sheetfed press orders taken at drupa has failed to materialise as US printing companies batten down the hatches.

    At the start of what promises to be a grim year for press manufacturers as well as printers, the KBA management will cut production capacity in its sheetfed division. In classic management speak it said in a press release … KBA management plans to compensate the foreseeable underutilisation of production capacities in the fourth quarter by making greater short-term use of its scheme of flexible working hours.
    That means there will be job losses.

    KBA predicts sales will fall to AUD2.6 billion delivering a loss for 2008.

  • Welcome to Nightmare on Ramsay Street: Print 21 magazine article

    Your attention please. After the great success of his show, Kitchen Nightmares, it has been announced that international super-chef, Gordon Ramsay, is starting a new reality TV show called Pressroom Nightmares and Peter Barnet has been engaged by his management to start the ball rolling and look for willing candidates. Read on to apply …

    Have I got your attention? Seriously, as I am currently a great fan of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, I was thinking how I could translate the message into some real advice for the business owners in the graphic arts industry. Each week I am on the edge of my chair as, over the 47 minutes of airtime, Gordon manages to show a restaurant owner what they have to get right to run a successful business.

    Sure there is theatre and the PR power of the ‘F’ word to help us watch it but, in most of the cases, the owner and staff acknowledge that the changes recommended by Ramsay were something they knew deep down had to be made. They had just done nothing about it although, in some cases, they had almost been forced to close the business.

    So, my task for you is to write down the one thing that you must get right in your business, no f&$#% excuses, by the end of 2008!

    Interestingly, not all answers to this question are obvious ones, such as "make more money".

    BA does on time departure
    Sir Rod Eddington, who gained respect from 2000-2005 when he turned around British Airways from a poorly-run government airline into a well-respected global airline, answered this question by saying that all he would focus on was on time departure. He knew that if BA could get this right then a lot more would fall out of this goal. Suppliers such as maintenance and catering would have to be on time, the airline would face fewer airport taxes and costs, customers would be a lot happier, and staff morale would turn around. He knew all these factors would lead to an ultimate improvement in profit.

    For the first three years after he became CEO, Eddington flew from airport to airport leading his people in getting this one thing right. Gordon Ramsay tells us every week that the meals have got to go out on time. If they are eating on time and the meal is hot then they are halfway there. Interestingly enough this is one of the key priorities for Virgin Blue staff in Australia also. They have a giant time clock that counts down as soon as the plane docks at the gate. Everyone knows the drill and they have been awarded Australia’s most on time airline for the last three years. If Sir Richard can learn from Sir Rod maybe we can all take this on board? Imagine as a print business if we just focused on delivering on time.

    Davenport undies does distribution
    When ex-advertising executive Clyde Davenport launched Davenport underwear in 1987 he took the retailing world by storm. Davenport knew this would happen so he worked on one main thing only prior to the launch – distribution. I remember hearing him speak in the mid-90s about how his dream was to take the marketing principles of the leading food companies with which he had been working and apply them to simple commodity items. One thing he had noticed from all his work with the food companies was that the distribution chain was set up correctly and there was always sufficient stock to meet demand. This was one thing he discovered was lacking while researching the underwear industry and he made this his one key thing to fix first because he knew if he got that right everything else would work. There was no point if the product looked great and people wanted to buy it if they had run out of stock.

    Should the ‘one thing’ be longer term strategic or short term problem fixing?

    The answer is it doesn’t really matter. It just needs to be something that you consider to be your pressroom nightmare and that you know deep down is affecting the success of the business. It could be a major problem, such as the wrong people, or a lazy business partner, or a major machine that isn’t working well enough, or an unskilled sales team. It could be part of your business process that customers or your people are forever complaining about. You know it’s the issue if you hear comments such as, "Don’t discuss problem X, that is a no-go area". If you hear this, then guaranteed it is a ‘go’ area and could be your next pressroom nightmare. It should be addressed once and for all.

    The issue can also be a longer term strategic issue, such as entering a new market, or starting a new product or service to your customers that you have been talking about for some time but haven’t addressed yet.

    What’s stopping you?
    Chances are that the issue you have written down on a piece of paper has been talked about many times. What you need to do is consider all the excuses, barriers and problems that have stopped you addressing the issue. Write down the top five reasons why you haven’t fixed the problem, or addressed the opportunity. These reasons or excuses will continue to stop you, unless you develop action plans to deal with them.

    For example, Eddington found that one of the reasons why planes were late was that local airport managers weren’t assertive enough with suppliers. His action was to coach each local manager to ensure they understood what he wanted, and how they needed to be more assertive. It’s no use just talking about the goal. You have to get down and dirty as a leader and drive the change. Super chef Ramsay tells us this every week also.

    Get some support and help
    It is often hard as business owners to turn our own habits around. We are also often busy working in the business and not on it. We need some support to get our businesses to change and I guess this is why the restaurant owners call in Gordon Ramsay. If you can’t be the Gordon Ramsay in your business then here are some tips:

    * Remember without a plan you are just a tourist driving a bus so produce a plan on the one thing that you want to fix or change. Put in your target date to have the issue addressed as 31st December 2008.Then work backwards and note the things that you have to act on between now and December, ensuring that you write down target dates and initials of those who are responsible for acting.

    * Get a mentor or advisor (Gordon might be busy). This person could be internal to the business such as a leader from another area, or someone outside the business. Having someone to be accountable to increases the chances that you will do the things you say you are going to do. Also you will find that two minds working on a problem are a lot better than one.

    Now that you have identified the one thing that you have to get right in your business to avoid a ‘pressroom nightmare’ this year, make sure you identify the barriers, develop a plan, and then make yourself accountable Gordon Ramsay-style, perhaps with a bit less swearing!

    Now those who want to audition form a queue to the left …

  • Candidate of the Week: Ross Gilberthorpe

    A strategic sales and marketing executive with extensive experience with leading suppliers to the printing industry including Kodak, Ilford Anitec and Polychrome in both Australia and New Zealand as well as internationally.

    My most recent position was reporting to the General Manager as one of four leadership team members as the marketing and channel manager. I led a team of four marketing executives managing the marketing functions for all Kodak Graphics products throughout Australia and New Zealand. My role was also in developing and implementing strategies to deliver a new go-to-market plan with regards to indirect business as well as the day-to-day sales and general management of dealers throughout Australia and New Zealand.
    I have a track record of success in building successful sales and marketing teams, developing marketing strategies and alternative go-to-market strategies in a direct or indirect market.
    My key strengths are:
    • Inspiring team leader, comfortable dealing with stakeholders at all levels in an organisation to achieve goals and negotiate successful business outcomes.
    • Skilled in high-level business analysis and performance improvement.
    • Effective communicator experienced in high level negotiations.
    • Highly strategic with an innovative business approach.
    • Proven success in managing major projects and meeting deadlines.
    • Strong leader with proven success in maximising staff performance.
    • Able to drive and manage organisational change and development.

    With over 25 years’ experience in the printing industry and my passion for success l believe that l would be a great asset to any business.

    Contact me at:
    + 61 (0) 417 537 968

  • Sappi snaps up M-real paper mills

    M-real sells its graphic papers business area to Sappi for EUR 750 million in an effort to clear its debts.

    The sale comprises the Kirkniemi and Kangas mills in Finland, the Stockstadt mill in Germany and the Biberist mill in Switzerland, with a total capacity of 1.9 million tonnes. As part of the transaction, M-real and Sappi have also entered into a long-term agreement on the supply of pulp and BCTMP and other smaller services and supplies.

    Of the graphic papers business area’s units, the paper mills in Hallein, Gohrsmühle, Reflex and Äänekoski as well as the Husum mill’s paper machine 8 will remain in M-real’s ownership.

    "We have taken a major step in our strategic review," said Kari Jordan, chairman of the M-real board of directors.

    "The transaction will significantly improve M-real’s future prospects and is the first major step in the European paper industry consolidation in the 21st century."

    In Australia, Sappi stock is sold through CPI and Doggets while M-real goes through Paper Agencies.

    According to Mikko Helander, CEO of M-real, the sale is a chance for the company to become more profitable. "The completion of this transaction will reduce our debt level and further improve our financial situation," he said.

    The sale is expected to be complete during the first quarter of 2009.

  • FSC awards bring out greenest of green

    Countdown to this year’s FSC Responsible Forest Management Awards.

    Held in Melbourne on 11 November, the awards are designed to recognise and reward organizations that demonstrate the spirit and intent of the FSC system through management practices.

    This year’s awards include seven categories: large forest manager of the year; small forest manager of the year; large chain of custody operation of the year; small chain of custody operation of the year; retailer of the year; building company/developer of the year and publisher/paper user of the year.

    Michael Conroy is this year’s guest speaker. The author and philanthropic executive has been associated with FSC for over a decade.

    FSC hopes that this year’s awards will follow on from the success of 2007 which attracted a crowd of 300 people including architects, paper buyers, printers, builders, government officials and industry leaders.

    To purchase tickets visit

  • Future is green for packaging and print

    Staff in packaging and display print production are urged to get a first-hand insight into the impact of green sustainability on the retail industry by attending a half-day conference in Sydney on 22 October 2008.

    The event, The Future’s So Bright Green Sustainability Conference, has been organised by Point-of-Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) and will be held at Randwick Racecourse from 7.30am-12.30pm.

    Printing Industries is an event supporter of the conference which aims to bring together retailers, industry suppliers and brands to learn from ‘best practice’ sharing and sustainability initiatives from industry leaders and experts.

    The conference will feature 13 speakers from major national and international companies providing sustainability insights. Leyla Acaroglu, Product Design Research Consultant RMIT University, Centre for Design will introduce the university’s Greenfly initiative, a powerful online tool for designers to integrate environmental considerations into their merchandising displays using eco design strategies and life cycle assessment data.

    David Gittus, managing director of the Active Display Group and POPAI Tools Committee Team Leader, will discuss product stewardship and steps being taken to share responsibility for Point of Purchase displays over the products’ whole life cycle from design to disposal.

    Other key note speakers include:

    Dr Caroline Noller, Head of Corporate Responsibility, The GPT Group. She will discuss landlords engaging stakeholders in sustainable retailing and best practice sharing solutions deployed at Rouse Hill Shopping Centre, NSW including case study examples.

    Paul Lang, Environment Manager Coles – Retail Development: Sustainability initiatives that have been successfully deployed in Coles and what to expect in the future for environmental concept stores.

    Janette Lewell, Partner Deloitte Corporate Responsibility Practice: Guidelines and things you need to be aware of when tackling the issue of sustainability.

    Richard Evans, CEO Australian Retailers Association: Australian Retailer Association: member company sustainability initiatives.

    The Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water Heritage and the Arts, Deloitte, The GPT Group, Active Display Group, SPOS, Metcash, and Garnier have become founding sponsors of the POPAI Sustainability Initiative.

    The cost for the conference is $125 (inc GST) per person. Bookings can be made by calling (02) 9984 9322.

  • Stochastic expert joins the dots in Australia

    Australian printing is spot on according to Kodak’s Gordon Pritchard.

    The screening evangelist visited Australia last week for the first time in five years and was impressed with what he saw when meeting with customers.

    "When I first came here, it was every printer for themselves," he said. "There were some very isolated, provincial views towards printing, such as 3DAP only being good for Sydney printers, not Melbourne printers."

    Pritchard (pictured) has been pleasantly surprised by the change in attitude since then. "Now, it’s a very different picture than I’m seeing," he said, pointing towards seven Kodak customers that had either implemented or were about to implement AS/ISO12647/2. "Without firm standards, achieving excellent quality is an expensive and wasteful process," Pritchard noticed.

    As the marketing manager for Value in Print (VIP), Pritchard has been responsible for the push towards stochastic screening and driving its growth in Australia.

    "Every site I’ve spoken to has been interested in stochastic screening," he said. "Some are implementing it because it is the foundation of spotless printing. Others are being pushed into it because of customer demand or competitive pressure."

    When it comes to change to changing systems, Pritchard admits that "switching screening will always attract reticence." He expects interest in stochastic screening to grow next year when Kodak releases Version 5 of Prinergy and Staccato CX.

    "It allows users to custom tailor the screen to suit their manufacturing needs," Pritchard said.

  • Cielab gets into the swing with open house

    Spectro Swing spectrophotometer makes its Australian debut at cielab’s new Brisbane premises.

    The company has relocated from McDowell to Brendale, Queensland and will showcase its new premises on 7 October with an Open House where Spectro Swing will be on demonstration.

    Michael Rooney, head of cielab and the agent for Barbieri, which produces Spectro Swing, said that the spectrophotometer measures most flexible media, from paper, banners, canvas and backlit substrates.

    "The new Spectro Swing is a complete output profiling solution," he said. "The unit can be used to profile within the RIP, or Barbieri offers the profile software as an option."

    Rooney said that Spectro Swing’s main use is linearisation and profiling of photographic and wide-format output devices for reflective and transparent materials. He added that it can also be used as a densitometer to determine density values for films and papers.

    The versatility of Spectro Swing will make it popular amongst the market, according to Rooney.

    "This latest Spectro Swing is available in two versions: an RT, for transparent and reflective media, and an R, for reflective media only," he said.

    "The latter can easily be upgraded to an RT model via software. This makes it an ideal entry model for professional users, giving them future possibilities to upgrade to transparent measurements too. With these types of substrates increasingly popular in digital imaging, we see this as important."

    Cielab’s Open House will be held at Unit 2, 8 Bult Drive, Brendale, Queensland, 4500.

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 1 October 2008

    Allan Wetherill has his admirers while James Cryer’s article on the recent CEO Forum get the readers writing. Why not join in the debate and have your say.

    Re: It pays to ask for help, says TAFE NSW
    I had Allan as a teacher when i was an apprentice; even back then I had a great respect for him and the way he used to relate to his students. Back in those days we use to smoke in the corridors in between classes.

    It’s great to see that the passion is still there
    Steve Pettaras


    Alan Wetherill’s efforts should be praised, instead they are stymied by NSW Government. When we employed an apprentice, conditions were that payroll tax etc was exempt. The rules changed after the indenture. We now pay payroll tax and worker’s compensation premiums on apprentice wages, but may be able to claim back next year. In our experience with government claim backs, it will be cumbersome, time-consuming and discouraged.

    Apprenticeship centres are limited in their assistance, usually only for tasks for which they receive remuneration. Our state government is walking away from training and responsibilities thus leaving others to cover for them. The last survey I completed for DET was whether skilled migration schemes would alleviate our employment problems.
    Lynne Morrow
    Morprint Pty Ltd


    Re: Carbon FootPrint: myth or minefield? James Cryer on CEO industry forum
    It was good to see James Cryer’s discussion of the carbon footprint issue in your pages.
    I agree with much of what he said, especially that commercial organisms like us respond largely to financial stimuli, so that is the way governments must seek to modify our behaviour.
    However I must take issue with a couple of his comments:
    1) It is definitely not debatable whether the world is actually getting warmer! While there is some question how fast it is happening, or whether it has happened before, or whether human activity is wholly to blame, it would be hard to find a reputable Australian or European scientist that denies it is occurring. In fact, many believe we have already passed the point where any amount of reduction in carbon emissions will be able to stop it let alone reverse it.
    2) The problem with taxing inputs instead of outputs is that the cost of low-carbon inputs such as energy-efficient plant and non-carbon electricity sources is higher than our current inefficient plant and carbon-based energy. So taxing input costs would drive industry away from desirable practices instead of towards them.
    Like most people, I don’t understand the details of the proposed carbon trading scheme, but I understand the principal – to make carbon-intensive processes so expensive that more ecologically-friendly alternatives are cheaper and therefore more commercially attractive! If we are fortunate enough to get bipartisan support for the scheme to speed its path through Parliament, it will have the effect of granting James his wish of a de facto tax on inputs.
    There is no denying that the transition to a low-carbon or no-carbon economy is going to be unpleasant but the alternative is, frankly, too horrific to contemplate.
    Peter Lawrance
    Hyde Park Press


    James posed some very interesting insights and observations from the presentations.  First, my congratulations to Printing Industries NSW for continuing to present their members with such forward thinking topics in such a professional manner.  I’d also like to publicly thank Jon Jutsen from Energetics for his insightful presentation which complimented mine.  

    Now to some of James’ observations.  First, I detect a level of disbelief that the planet is getting warmer. James says "it is debatable". However, in my opinion there is no way a reasonable person could look at the graph below and conclude it is not warming, although certainly the cause can be debated. I am not suggesting that warming cannot be reversed or stopped, but just that it is plainly happening.

    The IPCC statement that it is "unequivocal" that the planet is warming was agreed to by more than 110 Governments after some significant thought … Can you imagine the due diligence and debate they must have gone through to answer this question: "Imagine if they (we) got this fundamental point wrong!" 

    Even more interesting is James’ observation that taxing inputs is a good idea rather than outputs. This is simply not a viable case for most environmental protection – and for good reason. For example, I can take (say) diesel fuel, burn it and create particulate particles that cause disease. But I can do the same and fit pollution reducing technology to capture these particulates and remove the risk they cause. Should the diesel be taxed or should the particulate production be discouraged by tax? I go for the latter.

    Same applies with carbon. You can make electricity from coal. This can either release carbon dioxide pollution or not depending on the technology (although Carbon Capture and Storage is in its infancy it has been proved). So should you pay a tax or penalty regardless of the outcome? I think not.

    Thirdly, efficiency is the reason for an Energy Trading Scheme  (ETS) rather than a tax. Taxes are a cost that cannot be deferred. An ETS is a cost that is less expensive for those industries that can easily and cheaply reduce their carbon emissions, and they have the benefit of selling this cheap abatement to those who cannot do it as cheaply. Both entities benefit. The price of carbon is actually like a tax but trading allows you to avoid this cost for the cheaper alternative somebody else can provide.

    I certainly agree about bureaucracy though. I prefer a simple start to an ETS similar to the NSW GGAS scheme which is a carbon trading scheme that has run for years now (the world’s oldest). Many do not even know they have it operating in NSW. It simply includes the stationary energy producers, and demand side abatement is recognised as generating credits. Simple and effective. If this scheme was adopted nationally most of the general public would probably not even notice. A simple, easy start to a system that could then be fine-tuned and expanded to cover the necessary sectors as required.

    A stimulating collection of thoughts James … and plenty of room for further discussion. Wish we had more time for debate – but industry has to move on with what it does best … making things, selling them, and earning a profit. Well done NSW Printing Industries, keep the information coming!

    Tony Wilkins
    Manager, Environment and Climate Change
    News Limited

  • Count down to Sydney Innovate

    There’s still time to register for Innovate 08 being held on 8 October. The free seminar assists print and graphic communications providers on how to grow and develop business opportunities.

    Innovate 08 is being held at the Fuji Xerox epicenter, Australian Technology Park, Sydney.

    Innovate 08 features three international key speakers: Peter Muir, Waleed Ashoo and Joe Rouhana, covering the following topics:

    Session 1

    Stream 1: Direct marketing from A to Z:
    "Making Multiple Mediums Work for You" – Peter Muir

    Stream 2: How and When: Offset and Digital Compliment:
    "Offset and Digital Compliment – when does it make sense" – Waleed Ashoo and Joe Rouhana

    Session 2

    Stream 1: Direct Marketing from A to Z:
    "Case Study Review of Critical Success Factors in Digital Print and Step by Step Building of a DM Campaign" – Peter Muir and Waleed Ashoo

    Stream 2: How and When: Offset and Digital Compliment:

    "Workflow Automation, Colour Management and Taking the Cost Out of the Process" – Joe Rouhana

    Session 3 "It’s all about profit"
    "Selling Content Instead of the Printed Page; 30-40% net margins instead of 3-8% plus value pricing vs. cost plus" – Waleed Ashoo and Peter Muir
    "Expand Your Opportunities; growth areas such as speciality imaging, VI applications, photo books, and new avenues such as fulfilment" – Joe Rouhana, Waleed Ashoo and Peter Muir

    For more information and to register go to

  • Business for Sale – Melbourne Commercial Printer

    Melbourne commercial printer, $900,000 turnover, good profits, sell price $375,000.

    Contact the printing specialists, Ascent Partners:

    L1 / 38A Church Street, Brighton, 3186.

    1300 887 648 or Richard Rasmussen on 0402 021 101

    Only suitably qualified purchasers will be introduced.

    We offer a national industry based service – business appraisals, business sales and business acquisitions. Confidentiality assured.

  • Business for Sale – Albury/Wodonga

    Albury / Wodonga commercial printer $950,000 turnover, sell price $725,000, very good profits.

    Contact the printing specialists, Ascent Partners:

    L1 / 38A Church Street, Brighton, 3186.

    1300 887 648 or Richard Rasmussen on 0402 021 101

    Only suitably qualified purchasers will be introduced.

    We offer a national industry based service – business appraisals, business sales and business acquisitions. Confidentiality assured.