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Industry pushback on ideological super attacks

Wednesday, 23 January 2019
By Patrick Howard

Representing the industry. Richard Celarc, executive director Opus and PIAA board member (right) met with Josh Frydenberg, federal treasurer, (left) along with Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA.

Peak industry body warns Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, not to mess with Media Super. In the first of series of Government consultations, Andrew Macaulay, CEO, Printing Industries sticks up for the printing industry’s default superannuation fund.

“Ideology has no place in deciding policy on superannuation. Media Super and other industry funds are doing a good job. The government must resist the temptation to play ducks and drakes with the sector. There should be no favouritism towards retail funds, certainly not on an ideological basis,” he said.

The defence of Media Super came as part of a broad pro-industry push to government that seeks to address concerns on maintaining the instant $20,000 depreciation concession on new plant, visa implications for the skilled workers shortage and continuing the pressure on energy prices. Macaulay made the point that Media Super is a high performing super fund that actively supports the industry on many levels.

“I raised it with the treasurer when board member Richard Celarc and I met with him as part of our campaign to make sure the federal government is aware of the industry’s concerns. Richard is very keen to prosecute an argument for better tax and investment rules for our very capital intensive industry,” said Macaulay.

The meeting is one of a series planned for the year and continues the campaign that over the course of 2018 saw PIAA directors and staff hold meetings with 116 politicians and nearly 190 policy advisors or public servants. These meetings have been with all sides of politics.

“To be effective the PIAA has to be apolitical. We have met directly with most of the federal cabinet and shadow ministers, as well as both prime ministers, and the opposition leader.

“Last week one of the new board assisted in a meeting about skilled worker visas while another new board member is scheduled to meet with the federal energy minister about print and packaging needs from that portfolio,” he said.

Macaulay stresses that the new board at the PIAA is comprised entirely of printers representing every state, individuals with a stake in the health of the industry. He insists on the primacy of a peak body backed by the industry that can effectively argue for the sector as a whole.

“The print and packaging industry is dynamic and constantly evolving as visual communications are central to our economy. Members of the sector engage in a competitive market with no barriers to entry. In this market, we see the print sector compete against foreign imports, continuing energy price inflation, environmental imposts, dramatic increases in paper prices, erratic vocational training delivery and an increasingly unstable industrial relations regime.

“Key to a strong industry is a strong, coherent voice representing that industry. Your board is proactive in raising the profile of our industry with policy makers at both federal and state level. We’ve been successful in this mission due to the board coming from industry, being real printers, invested in the sector, and having a clear strategy for industry representation. By ensuring that politicians and policy makers know that the industry has one representative voice, we make that voice powerful,’ he said.




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