TRMC joins Australian Made call on government
The Real Media Collective has launched a communication campaign to government, and announced an alliance with the Australian Made campaign to keep print in the country.
TRMC says that arising from the Covid-19 pandemic there have been repeated calls from trade unions and industry bodies to government to produce all government print work in Australia. TRMC has supported the sentiment, and has been working in the background to develop a solution that could assist government to implement new procurement guidelines.
“We reviewed the figures and analysed statements from various stakeholders, however we could not find the numbers to marry with the government data that we were reviewing. IbisWorld reports $340m of print work is offshored annually, however, when we broke this figure down through our Industry Insights surveying, we quickly determined this was a combination of publishing – noting cook-books made up a large majority of offshore book publishing – signage, which includes a double digit percentage of fabric flags, and a smaller percentage of some government print work,” commented Kellie Northwood, CEO, The Real Media Collective.
From the Industry Insights surveying, TRMC then reviewed government guidelines, which highlight priority for Australian companies. However, when exploring the major government print contracts, it was determined that the majority sit with print management contractual agreements, and it is in this realm that the data is difficult to report without breaching confidentiality conditions.
Northwood said, “Government departments prefer to share the government print work across many organisations, and thus the print management modelling is more common than direct print company contracts. Print management groups also offer single supply management and standardised reporting. However, once the print manager is selected, it has been found that the government procurement departments may not be specifying or rating higher for the products to be produced in Australia, rather the contract KPIs lean more closely to cost reduction targets.
“As an industry we know that the estimated cost is not the only measure to which government should be assessing. Freight, environment, modern anti-slavery legislation and related responsibilities, ethical business practices and more have an economic cost and social impact on Australia. Governments at all levels should include these factors into their entire procurement formulas and ultimate reporting regardless of whether adopting a print management or direct commercial print model.”
To gain greater insight, provide information and lead the industry discussions, TRMC has written to all government ministers, federal, state and local, highlighting the concerns of industry, the impact to Australian jobs, the environment and ethical sourcing.
Northwood said, “During this year we have seen government and businesses affected by supply chain issues. If governments at all levels consider the benefits of implementing our proposals, they would create an agile sourcing and procurement model, that would minimise any future supply chain disruptions.”