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Industry comes out fighting with ‘annual report’ campaign

Thursday, 20 April 2006
By Print21

The decision was revealed by the Federal Government’s taskforce on Reducing Regulatory Burdens on Business. Following pressure from financial institutions, the government agreed to remove the requirement for companies to produce a printed copy of their annual reports in favour of electronic copies, as a way of minimising business compliance costs.

Printing Industries launched immediate action and called on the government to reverse its decision for an ‘opt in’ system, where people have to nominate if they want to receive printed reports in favour of the existing ‘opt out’ system where they receive a printed report unless they nominate not to receive one.

Philip Andersen, CEO for Printing Industries, has written to Prime Minister John Howard protesting the move and stating the case in favour of printed reports. He claims there are many concerns over the government’s plans.

“For example, there are security aspects that arise when the primary source for annual reporting and hence corporate accountability is the internet,” he says.

“Report content can be changed without the site owners’ knowledge, causing embarrassment and potentially influencing important investment decisions. You don’t have this issue with printed reports.”

Printing Industries is encouraging everyone in the industry to write to the government to protest the move, and has launched the Annual Report Action Centre where pro forma letters to send to the Prime Minister and politicians across Australia can be downloaded.

The Centre, on www.printnet.com.au also contains full contact details for both House of Representatives and Senate members and the Taskforce extracts.

Printing Industries is also seeking industry feedback on the extent of annual report production in Australia.

Joe Kowalewski, national director of marketing and media services for Printing Industries, says that all companies, even in they print only one small annual report annually, should provide feedback on the value to their business of annual report production.

“Information from as many companies as possible is vital if we are to demonstrate the full extent of the damage this ill-considered decision could have on our industry,” he said.

Information can be lodged via the Annual Report Action Centre on the Printing Industries website or emailed in strictest confidence to annualreport@printnet.com.au. Information will be used in aggregate form only.

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