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Record number of MPs at inaugural Print2Parliament

Friday, 19 October 2018
By Wayne Robinson

Engagement: Print2Parliament saw printers and politicians come together

The inaugural Print2Parliament event saw more MPs and Senators turn up than for any other industry event, according to the politicians present.

In fact by any measure Print2Parliament can be judged a serious success, certainly in rasing the profile of the print industry and creating a new level of engagement in Parliament, with PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay announcing at the end of the evening that it will become an annual event.

Pauline Hanson with Print21 editor Wayne Robinson

Hosted by the PIAA at Parliament House in Canberra Print2Parliament was the first of its kind for the print industry, and drew print business leaders from around the country, flying in from Victoria, NSW, Queensland and West Australia, to join a bevy of politicians, who came from all parties, and included high profile figures such as Eric Abetz, Wayne Swan and Pauline Hanson. The AMWU was also represented, with Lorraine Cassin and other delegates. Various related associations were also there, including Sarah Runcie from the Australian Publishers Association, and James Pearson, the head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The aim of the evening was to create awareness in the country’s policymakers of the size and importance of print to the economy, and to the development of the country, and to share the big six hot industry topics with them; energy, skills and training, IR, sustainability, AusPost pricing, and Aussie first print procurement.

James Pearson (left) CEO ACCI, with Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA

Macaulay says, “This level of engagement can only be beneficial to the print industry. The MPs and Senators were clearly listening to the printers present. We all need to work together to take the industry forwards. This event highlights the benefits of working with politicians, it is clearly effective.”

New PIAA Board member Theo Pettaras welcomed the printers and politicians to the event, telling them the industry was advanced manufacturing, a place of lifelong learning, and capital intensive.

Brief speeches came from the co-sponsors, with Liberal Michael Sukkar saying that it was ‘great event’ and ‘the energy is clear to see’, while Labor’s Wayne Swan – who says his constituency probably has more printers in in that any other – gave a terrific speech, saying it was the best turnout of MPs he had ever seen. He said, “Print is going through tremendous changes, and is facing a lot of demands, but by working together the industry will remain a powerful part of the Australian economy. It is wonderful to see all sides of politics here, and to see that the unions and the employers work together. We all want to see the same thing, which is opportunity and growth.”

New PIAA Board member Tom Eckersley and PIAA president Walter Kuhn

Media Super CEO Graham Russell called for politicians to invest in youth and youth training, saying the industry was a great place for young people to develop skills. He also called on the politicians to look at the reluctance of banks to invest in print, saying, “They have virtually gone on strike when it comes to print.”

Wrapping up the evening PIAA president Walter Kuhn told the guests to use the evening as a platform to build on and to work together for the greater good of the print industry.

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