PVCA CEO Andrew Macaulay wants printers to know there is no government essential service list, with the association nonetheless lobbying government to ensure that the critical nature of print and packaging to all supply chains in our economy is known, and should form part of policy planning.

Heidelberg is launching robots and Push to Stop for its Stahlfolders, which it says increase efficiencies and address high labour requirements.

Printers looking to add a high margin revenue stream to their business will be more than interested in the Dimense one pass digital textured wall covering printer, now available in ANZ through Stick on Signs distribution channels.

The country's two big paper merchants say the rapidly falling value of the Australian dollar will inevitably mean paper price rises in the coming months if the value does not lift.

The world's biggest offset press manufacturer, Heidelberg, is launching a new Speedmaster range, which it describes as the most intelligent and automated ever produced.

Wagner Prestige Labels is now producing a third of its labels on its new Durst Tau 330 RSC E inkjet label press, and enjoying dramatically reduced waste levels.

The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to wreak economic havoc around the world, and the Australian print industry is not immune, with printers seeing a drop in trade.

The country's two big printers, IVE and Ovato, will now be working for the same major client, as the country's two big magazine publishers are joining forces on 9 April.

The country's biggest trade printer CMYKhub is outlining its virus plans to the trade as print comes under pressure in the Covid-19 pandemic.

TLC boss Barry Webster has told Victorian premier Daniel Andrews to back print in the current crisis, as Andrews looks to impose further restrictions on the population in order to battle the virus.

Regional newspapers are closing as they battle a fall-off in advertising since the coronavirus got serious, with fears also raised over the future of some of the major metro papers.

Small and medium-sized businesses can get up to $100,000 to help with cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their bills, and retain staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000, it is also expanding access to the scheme to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).

The federal government is introducing a scheme that allows businesses to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset straight away, as part of its efforts to combat the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian government will make available loan guarantees for some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as part of its effort to combat the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

To help businesses through the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian government is offering to pay half of an apprentice or trainee’s wages at an eligible business for the first nine months of this year.

As the coronavirus sweeps the globe and efforts to contain it cause economic stress, Australian printers are just beginning to feel the effects. But there is optimism and comfort in the knowledge that the crisis will end.

The country's two big paper suppliers Ball & Doggett and Spicers both say they have more than enough stock to cover all demand for commercial grades in the coming months.

Print & Visual Communication Association is running a series of crisis management sessions designed to enable printers to meet the myriad demands of the coronavirus environment.

Flood ravaged Imagination Graphics will be back up and running, with chuffed owner Emmanuel 'Budgie' Buhagiar successful in an insurance claim, which will see all kit reinstalled, including a new Konica Minolta B2 digital inkjet KM-1.

Xerox has put its hostile takeover bid for HP on ice, citing the need to focus on the coronavirus, and saying the pause in action has nothing to do with the plummeting stock prices of both companies.

Currie Group managing director Bernie Robinson says the company has a host of Horizon finishing, Foliant laminating and Cron CTP systems all available for less than the new $150,000 instant asset write down limit brought in to help business through the virus.

Two former Waratah Group execs caught up in a front-page World Vision print contract exposé, Stephen Kernahan and Brett Chalmers, have resigned from their roles at Finsbury Green. Monday was their last day.

Digital print solutions developer Durst is closing its factory in Italy until the end of the month as the coronavirus blitzes through the country, which is currently the worst affected in Europe. Supplies, ink and support will be unaffected.

The giant trade show drupa 2020, which would have attracted 250,000 printers, has been postponed – for the first time in its history – and will now run next April instead of this June, the move the inevitable result of the growing coronavirus scare which is closing down the world.

The federal government has unveiled a raft of packages created to help small and medium sized business – which includes the vast majority of printers – carry on working through the coronavirus scare, including a massive uplift in the instant asset write off.

Industry association PVCA is issuing advice to print businesses to enable them to minimise risk of their staff becoming infected, which in the main says don't panic and take sensible precautions.

Under-pressure controversial signage business Skope Group has seen trading entity Scream Visual issued with a winding up order, and Skope Group Holdings is now also in external administration.

Print21 wishes to clarify that Express Print & Mail on the Sunshine Coast is not in liquidation, contrary to the story that was on today's Print21 newsletter.

Konica Minolta chairman and managing director Dr David Cooke is set to move on from the business, seven years after breaking the mould and becoming the first non-Japanese to head one of the big Japanese tech companies.

HP says drupa will see the "most exciting launches in the history of Indigo" announcing a raft of new print solutions with eight new presses that include a 6000sph B2 press, an entry level SRA3, and software for its new range of label and packaging presses that will enable them to hit any spot colour within three minutes.

HP is launching a B2 6000sph duplex press that pumps out up to a million sheets a month, as it identifies two key markets for B2 printing – premium quality, and high volume, and releases two presses for those two markets.

With the labels and packaging market set for continued growth, HP is launching new presses for labels, flexibles, and cartons, including a narrow web digital press the V12 which will compete on speed with analogue presses, running at 120 metres a minute.

Controversial signage business Skope Group director Ann Orren registered a new trading name Skope Group Wholesale Manufacturing, just four days before placing Skope Group into voluntary administration at the end of last month.

The world's major wide format expo Fespa Global 2020, due to take place in Madrid in three weeks time, has fallen victim to growing coronavirus fears and been postponed.

The increasing global nervousness over the coronavirus is starting to impact print, with ink and equipment manufacturers among those dependent on China now looking at dealing with the looming Covid-19 shadow.

Print businesses in the areas most affected by Covid-19 are struggling, unable to get consumables in and jobs out, in what could be a precursor for the situation in Australia if lockdown is ordered.

As fears over the coronavirus sweep over the world, causing cancellations of major events in affected areas, giant international trade show drupa says it is all systems go for the June event, with no plans to cancel.

The Printing Industry Creativity Awards deadline has been extended by one week to next Friday 13 March, as printers focus on preparing their businesses for the impact of the coronavirus.

Controversial signage outfit Skope and its various associated entities are in administration, just six months after it managed to transform a $2.3m debt in a closely related manufacturing arm into a favourable DOCA, leaving rivals fuming.

Growth slowed in the out of home industry last year, with 2019 showing a total increase of 1.5 per cent on net media revenue last year – but spend on print fell by eight per cent, according to the figures from the Outdoor Media Association.

National print business Ovato (formerly PMP) struggled to make headway in the first half, with all figures on the slide on the back of the softer economic environment in Australia. Its share price fell by a quarter on the results. Outside advisors have now been brought in.

Sydney signage and large-format printer Easy Signs will move into a larger factory in April, tripling its floorspace, just a few years after its previous massive upgrade.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is approving Orora’s sale of its Australasian fibre business to Nippon Paper subsidiary Australian Paper.

Diversified marketing communications group IVE – which includes one of the country's biggest print operations – saw its half year performance metrics slip back from last year, but it still achieved a solid $40.1m EBITDA and paid out an ‘attractive’ dividend to investors.

National mail monopoly Australia Post group revenue for first half of 2020 was up four per cent year-on-year, but letters revenue plunged again, down by nine per cent, with CEO Christine Holgate warning “the time has come to transform these services".

Press manufacturer RMGT (formerly Ryobi) will present a cloud-connected smart factory concept at drupa, where the presses, post press, and other processes are all integrated with automated guided vehicles moving the paper around.

BGS Printing has upgraded its finishing capability with investment in new Horizon kit, including a bookletmaker and three-sided trimmer, both supplied by Currie Group.

The owner of press giant manroland Sheetfed GmbH is instigating an aggressive pricing strategy for its Roland offset presses, in a bid to boost sales and keep the factory humming.

Avon Graphics is buying the assets and business of troubled laminating outfit Protectaprint, which went into administration at the back end of last year.

High profile print identity Theo Pettaras has sold his Digitalpress business to marcomm services outfit Bridgestone Investments in a strategic move, which will also see it enter wide format production.

An artists' collective is vandalising JC Decaux bus shelter printed posters across the east coast capital cities, pulling them out and replacing them with their own climate-change messages, in an attack on the quarter-of-a-billion-dollar sector.

The world's biggest offset press manufacturer Heidelberg is launching what it says is a new generation of Speedmaster presses, which it calls 'the most intelligent and most automated' to date.

Top Ovato executives, including chairman Michael Hannan (l) and CEO Kevin Slaven (r) welcomed customers to tour the expanded NSW printing site, one of the largest in the southern hemisphere, and unveiled the company’s latest $20m manroland Lithoman 80-page high-volume web press.

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Young Aboriginal entrepreneur launches signage and print business

Sista Girl Sign & Print is launching today, with its co-founder Raquel Todd making it clear she has a determination to do great things for the Aboriginal community.

$1500 assistance webinar to run again

Demand for the $1500 assistance webinar run by PVCA yesterday was strong, causing the association to run it again today, with repeat sessions planned for next week.

Print is essential: TRMC report to govt

The Real Media Collective is releasing its 28-page report it submitted to government this week, it provides key evidence that supports the paper, print, and mail industry as an “essential service supply-chain provider” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Blow to NZ print as Bauer shuts shop

The largest magazine publisher in New Zealand, Bauer Media, is closing its business with immediate effect, following the government's refusal to undo its Covid-19 ban on magazine printing.

New initiative launched for blue sky thinking

CPH Group is launching Blue Sky, a free, online resource centre that provides signwriters and the digital print industry with creative concepts, different thinking, and new potential target-market opportunities.

Macaulay: $1500 fantastic, webinar to explain

The PVCA is running a special webinar today (Thursday) which will focus entirely on the government's new $1500 employee wages assistance package.

PrintNZ battles Kiwi govt print ban

The New Zealand government has banned the printing of non-daily newspapers and magazines, leaving print association PrintNZ “gobsmacked” with the decision, made as the country goes into lockdown in its attempt to thwart Covid-19.

Cardboard and mail low risk for virus says TRMC

The Real Media Collective has published research which shows that the coronavirus is unlikely to live long enough on mail to be transmitted, and which shows cardboard carries the virus for much less time than plastic packaging.

NZ Blue Star sites go Toitū green

All Blue Star sites in New Zealand are now Toitū enviromark gold certified. The prestigious certification confirms that a business has developed a comprehensive plan to help it achieve its environmental goals.

Xerox abandons hostile HP takeover

Xerox has dropped its unsolicited US$35bn bid to buy HP, citing the coronavirus as the reason for pulling the pin on the strongly opposed takeover.

Bauer reviewing Pacific merger deal

The mega-merger between the two biggest magazine publishers in the country may not go ahead after all, with Bauer reportedly looking to restructure the deal and slash the buy price.

Latest Print21 magazine being mailed

The latest issue of the nation's best read print industry magazine Print21 is arriving on desks, delivering a host of rich content covering key issues in the ANZ print industry, with exclusive interviews, analysis and insight.

Sanitiser frenzy = press alcohol shortage

The public's enormous demand for hand sanitisers is causing a shortage of IPA press alcohol as dampening-solution providers find their alcohol suppliers switching to meet unprecedented need.

US deems packaging industry essential

The packaging industry has been classified as an essential service by the US department of Homeland Security, while printers and packaging companies here are being urged to tell their MPs that their industry should likewise be classified as essential.

ACM and EPM kit up for auction

Print production kit from Australian Community Media and EPM Central Coast is up for auction, with the auction dates set for March 30 and April 15, on site and live streamed.

HP calls Xerox bid disastrous and irresponsible

The HP board says the Xerox deal could be “disastrous” and is asking its shareholders to give the Xerox bid short shrift to enable the management team to focus on dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Orora gets ok for Australasian fibre sale

Nippon Paper Industries has received approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board to go ahead with the acquisition of Orora’s Australasian Fibre Business.

Aussie packaging market set for $ growth

Packaging demand across the world reached US$917.1bn in 2019 and is expected to grow in the coming four years, according to the latest data from industry analyst Smithers.

PICAs to go online, National Print Awards postponed

The state PICAs will be presented online this year, with the dinner events scrapped, and the National Print Awards postponed, as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

SHOWS: drupa director explains postponement

The director of drupa Sabine Geldermann is on the front foot explaining why the print mega show had to be postponed, and why it has been rescheduled to next April.

SHOWS: Optimistic Fespa moves to October

The world’s premier wide-format expo, Fespa Global Print Expo 2020, will take place 6 - 8 October, but not everyone thinks the rescheduling for just six months time is such a smart move.

VIRUS: Free SME virus seminar from business experts

A free business seminar for small and medium sized business will be running this Friday, at which the organisers say, Australia's best business experts will be uniting to help SMEs conquer the Covid-19 crisis.

VIRUS: End of era as Playboy exits print

Iconic men's magazine Playboy is ceasing its US print edition with immediate effect, bringing to an end a near 70-year odyssey that reflected changing society across the decades.

DRUPA POSTPONED: PacPrint to be pushed out

Global and regional print trade shows organisers are scrambling to reschedule their events planned for for next year, all of which will be impacted by the rescheduling of drupa to April, including PacPrint.

VIRUS: PrintNZ issues Kiwi assistance guidance

New Zealand print business owners' association PrintNZ has issued a comprehensive guide for Kiwi companies to access support and assistance during the growing coronavirus crisis.

PRINT21: Mental health in trying times

With print business owners and managers operating in a high-pressure environment, and now the coronavirus Covid-19 to contend with, mental health advocate Steve Gamble says there are simple steps we can all instigate to ensure we are well grounded.

BRUNNER: Print needs carbon measuring system

Print environmentalist Laurel Brunner says the industry needs an overarching method for quantifying the carbon footprint of print media production systems, in order to highlight the remarkable sustainability strides made by print.

VIRUS: PVCA issues continuity guidance if staff sick

Print industry association PVCA is issuing members with business continuity guidance, which it says will enable printers to keep supplying jobs to their clients if their staff are sick with the virus and unable to work.

VIRUS: Pride in Print postponed, new date tba

Pride in Print has been postponed, the New Zealand print awards night falling victim to the coronavirus scare which has seen gatherings of more than 500 people banned.

VIRUS: Visual Impact Gold Coast postponed

The Visual Impact Expo which was to be held at the Gold Coast at the end of April, has been postponed in light of the Federal Government’s response to the rapidly evolving coronavirus.

AWARD: Bambra only Aussie co to get Arjowiggins certification for premium printing

Melbourne-based Bambra Press has become the only Australian print business to be certified by the Arjowiggins Academy of Certified Printers.

NEW: Workflowz launches new Elpical auto enhance

Creative software solutions provider Workflowz is launching version 12 of the Elpical auto image software, which comes with auto enhancing, auto deep etch and auto tagging.

POWER: Jet slashes energy needs in half with solar

Australian supplier for the print, finishing, food packaging, and industrial manufacturing industries, Jet Technologies, has made the switch to renewable energy at its Sydney HQ, reducing its carbon footprint and slashing its energy consumption.

AWARDS: Today final day for PICA entries

Printers need to get their skates on if they want their best work considered for State PICAs and National Print awards, with deadline day for entries today, and the first one free to members.

AWARDS: Momento Pro sponsors Photobook prizes

The Australia & New Zealand Photobook Award 2019 winners were announced at the opening night celebrations of the Photobook/NZ festival. The awards are sponsored by Sydney printer Momento Pro.

CLAIMS: Finsbury suspends former Waratah execs

Finsbury Green has suspended its former Waratah executives Brett Chalmers and Stephen Kernahan over the World Vision corruption allegations, which claim Waratah Group paid a World Vision advisor $3000 a month for the contract, unbeknown to the charity.

REVEALED: Waratah in charity corruption claims

Nine Media is reporting that collapsed Waratah Group was paying major charity World Vision's printing advisor a hidden $3000 a month kickback in return for its annual $2.5m printing contract.

VIRUS: Durst ensuring supplies of ink and parts

Durst is ramping up the ink and parts it is sending its distributors around the world, including to the newly opened Durst Oceania, in order to be ready for any tightening of supply lines in the wake of the ongoing and unpredictable coronavirus outbreak.

VIRUS: Print shows being cancelled but China back

Print shows around the world are being pulled as the coronavirus spreads, with expos in the US, UK, and Thailand the latest to be postponed, although a major Chinese sign show, slated for February but cancelled, has now been rescheduled for July.

VIRUS: Chili publish pulls out of drupa

Industry software developer Chili publish, known for its Smart Templates, has cancelled its presence at drupa on fears of the coronavirus, becoming the first company to do so.

Koenig & Bauer sets out drupa stall

Printing press manufacturing giant Koenig & Bauer is heading to the flagship trade fair of the print and media industry with a raft of digitalisation solutions, product innovations, and a completely new machine design.

Waratah businesses in liquidation

Waratah Group businesses Embassy Print, MW Assets and Waratah Digital are officially in voluntary liquidation, four months after the group went under with debts of at least $12m.

Print growth predicted by US research

A US research report showed that many American printers saw revenue growth last year and many are optimistic about prospects in 2020.

Konica Minolta launches digital embellish JV 3D One

Konica Minolta is launching a new digital embellishing system, the MGI JV 3D One. It is targeted at commercial printers, and it enables them to bring embellishing in-house. General manager Sue Threlfo describes as 'perfect for our Aussie market'.

Newspaper supplier AAP to close after 85 years

Australian Associated Press (AAP), the national news agency supplying stories to national and regional newspapers, is closing, unable to compete with the free information on the internet used by newspapers as they all struggle with costs.

Xerox launches HP bid to shareholders

Xerox has officially launched its hostile takeover bid for HP, asking HP shareholders to sell their stock at $24 a share, and giving them seven weeks to do so.

VIRUS: Visual Impact Gold Coast going ahead

Plans for local trade show Visual Impact on the Gold Coast next month are progressing unabated, with organisers saying that the Covid-19 outbreak is not expected to prevent the industry’s largest sign and display expo opening as planned 30 April – 2 May.

Ball & Doggett to the rescue of print history

Penrith Print Museum finds a safe haven for its overflow of printing exhibits with the industry’s largest paper merchant able to store the heritage items in Sydney, writes James Cryer.

ePac sets record with HP Indigo presses

Flexible packaging printer ePac has broken the production record on its fleet of HP Indigo 20000 digital presses operating around the world, pumping out 20 million impressions in January.

Aldus acquires API Foils Europe

Australian company Aldus has acquired foilmaker API Foils Europe (excluding its Dutch and Asian subsidiaries), creating a new company, API Foilmakers.

Pre-registration rush for Visual Impact Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is proving a popular choice of venue for the first Visual Impact expo for 2020, with visitor pre-registrations for the show up 50 per cent on the last iteration of the event, the 2018 Brisbane show.

ChromaLT software now available in Australia

Techkon’s ChromaLT – a lite version of the Chroma software – is now available in Australia, from the local distributor of Techkon colour-measuring instruments, Colour Graphic Services.

Fujifilm launches Vybrant entry-level flatbed

Fujifilm is launching a new flatbed LED UV print system, the Vybrant UF10, which has been designed for printers looking for a cost-effective entry or capacity upgrade to flatbed printing with Fujifilm quality.

Currie Group at ABG sessions in UK

Currie Group label and packaging exec Wayne Quayle was among the 50 global distributors who went to the UK for a week-long training and workshop session with AB Graphic International, during which they were also privy to the new drupa releases.

Komori to acquire MBO Group

Komori is acquiring the MBO Group, the German company specialising in post-press equipment, it will be "business as usual" in Australia and New Zealand.

RMC to sponsor print in marketing award

The Real Media Collective is to sponsor the Cannes Young Lions Australia, Marketing category, which calls on young marketing professionals to develop campaigns that include print as a powerful marketing tool in the broader marketing mix.

Macaulay says clean hands counter Coronavirus

PVCA CEO Andrew Macaulay says simple attention to hygene will help stop any spread of the deadly coronavirus in the workplace, based on his experience of Sars and the Bird Flu while working in Asia at the time.

drupa to stage first digital textile printing show

The rapid growth of digital textile printing will see the drupa launch of Touchpoint Textile, a new special show for digital textile printing applications, in Hall 4 of June’s giant show, complete with micro digital textile factory.

Bumper issue first Print21 of 2020 arriving on desks

The first Print21 magazine of the year is out and arriving on desks this week, with the bumper issue packed with compelling engaging content for the nation's print business owners and managers.

Soar Print supporting charity with soup packaging

The team at Soar Print is supporting the Waste-Not Kitchen by printing their soup packaging for free.

Currie Group bundles Horizon finishing with HP Indigo 7r

Currie Group has a new special offer for print businesses looking to implement HP Indigo digital print technology, offering a bundled deal with a reconditioned HP Indigo 7r, and free Horizon creaser folder or perfecting binding system.

Print21 boosts team with new deputy editor

The industry’s media hub Print21 is growing, appointing a deputy editor, Ian Ackerman, to join the senior editorial team of editor Wayne Robinson, editor-at-large Patrick Howard, and publisher Lindy Hughson.

Roland DG Academy training dates announced

Digital wide format solutions supplier Roland DG Australia has announced the dates around the country for its rip software training course, VersaWorks: Beyond the Basics.

Industry events postponed in wake of virus outbreak

Several industry events in China, including Sign China 2020, have been postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country. The event was to be held from 24 – 26 February at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Centre.

24-hour Swimathon for mental health returns

The Head Above Water 24-hour Swimathon is returning to Sydney’s Northern Beaches, after raising more than $80,000 for mental health programmes at the inaugural 2019 event.

Cube forum to host 40 sessions at drupa

The drupa Cube forum for 2020 will include 40 sessions, including keynotes from star designer James Sommerville and digital transformation influencer Michael Gale.

Registrations open for Visual Impact 2020

Registrations are now open for Visual Impact Gold Coast 2020. The event will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre from 30 April to 2 May.

Mimaki offers zero interest through Spicers

Mimaki is offering zero interest repayments on a range of printers including roll-to-roll, flatbed, and tabletop UV, available through Spicers.

Epson unveils industrial DTG printer

Epson Australia is set to debut its first industrial direct-to-garment (DTG) printer, the SureColor F3060, in Melbourne next month.

New categories unveiled as PICA entries open

Entries are now open for the 2020 Printing Industry Creativity Awards, which will culminate at the National Print Awards in July and incorporate a number of new categories.

First ever Sign & Display Conference launched

The Australian Sign & Graphics Association (ASGA) and Fespa Australia have launched a conference for sign and display professionals, with the inaugural event to coincide with Visual Impact on the Gold Coast.

Papyrus Club opens doors to new blood

Melbourne print community The Papyrus Club is throwing its doors open as the venerable 60-year-old club seeks to welcome new members.

ANALYSIS: Xerox HP, what it means for ANZ printers

The battle for control of HP is in full flow, with a war of words between the HP and Xerox boards as they attempt to coalesce HP shareholders to their respective sides, but what does it mean for local printers?

ANALYSIS: Carl Icahn, king of the corporate raiders

The man behind the Xerox bid to buy HP, and the same man who blocked the Fujifilm bid to buy Fuji Xerox and then effectively sacked the Xerox board, is 83-year-old billionaire Carl Icahn – one of the kings of corporate raiders.

Laser printer inventor passes away

Gary Starkweather, the man who invented the laser printer, which then linked into the emerging desktop computers and enabled desktop publishing, wreaking havoc on the print industry, has passed away aged 81.

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ePac flags move into Australia/NZ market

A successful entry into the Asian market for the rapidly growing HP Indigo packaging printer is a forerunner for an attack on the local flexible packaging sector.

Currie Group wins WorldStar for Rhino cover

Currie Group has won a global WorldStar 2020 Award for its industry-first #rhinosdownunder printed execution that featured on the PKN Packaging News magazine cover in March last year.