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Election battle hots up at Printing Industries

Tuesday, 23 September 2014
By Patrick Howard
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Unfamiliar territory for peak industry body as members from Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and NSW all vie to sit on the national board.

The contested seats are drawing a line between what President David Leach describes as a progressive and a conservative faction, or ‘between those who want to continue the changes already underway and those who want things to stay the way they were.” With nominations now closed the stage is set for what is looming as one of the most significant elections for the Association in years.

David Leach, President and Look Print CEO.

Unlike previous elections where members sometimes had to be cajoled to take up the responsibility of sitting on the governing board, this time around there are more candidates than positions available. Candidates putting themselves forward in opposition to the incumbent are contesting two state seats, one each in Queensland and Tasmania. In Queensland Susan Heaney, (Heaneys Performers In Print), former Printing Industries president and current deputy president, is facing a challenge from Tom Eckersley (Print Approach), while Tasmanian incumbent, Bob Yates, (Huon Valley News) is fighting off competition from Craig Pearce (Flying Colours).

In addition, there are three candidates for the two national positions; Roy Aldrich (Eastern Studios) Victoria, Kiernan May (Accross Business,) ACT and Chris Segert (Permanent Press) NSW have all put their names forward for election by nationwide vote.

The nominations follow an unsuccessful attempt to modify the constitution to make it impossible for a member to stay on the board indefinitely. The motion, although passed by the national committee, was declared unconstitutional on legal advice.

The national board has assumed greater importance in recent years following the dissolution of state bodies in favour of a single representative committee.

There is one member elected from each state  – SA and NT are one and ACT is now part of NSW – with two national positions elected by general suffrage. There are no challenges to incumbents Graham Jamieson (Picton Press) Western Australia, Peter Lane (Lane Print Group) South Australia, Stephen Edwards (Snap Group) NSW or Ross Black (BJ Ball) Victoria.

Sweeping changes to the make-up and membership of Printing Industries have undoubtedly ruffled some feathers. Management changes, especially within Victoria have also caused some alienation, even as the Association has tapped into increased Federal Government funding to the tune of $11 million for its Future Print initiative.

Bill Healy, CEO, would not comment on the election saying it is a matter for the members to decide. David Leach, as president, is under no such constraint and is openly backing Susan Heaney, Chris Segaert, Kiernan May and Craig Pearce in the contested seats.

“These are people who can make a difference. I’m proud that the board will represent the majority of members rather than special interests. Craig Pearce of Flying Colours operates a small-to-medium size company, the same as most of our members. He has already demonstrated dedication to the industry.  Susan, Chris and Kiernan are all part of the changes that have already occurred. It would be a shame to lose that experience.”

Ballots are being posted to the members across Australia for return by 8 October.








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