Buy Australian print to Govt campaign gets cut through
Opus Print Group CEO Richard Celarc says tangible results are coming from the industry's campaign to persuade government and government funded institutions to buy Australian print.
Celarc says he is now receiving enquiries for work that previously would have gone offshore and says he has been told by different buyers from government agencies that the message they have received is to buy from Australian printers.
Celarc said, “We have had communication for work from government agencies that I have never had in the last couple of weeks. Those buyers have told me that they have been instructed to buy in their state, and if they can't buy in their state then to buy from somewhere else in Australia.”
He said examples of work that he is now being asked for include four-colour hardback children's books, which he said, “Were all going straight offshore.”
Celarc said, “The Buy Australian Print campaign that has been running has clearly been hitting the mark. The PVCA had 5000 printers sign the petition, I know many printers have been talking to their MPs. PVCA CEO Andrew Macaulay and PVCA president Walter Kuhn have been working overtime on this.
“They have produced a great document which shows the impact on the Australian economy of government and government agencies sending work offshore. Yes, it does have a cheaper buy price, but all the money has left the country. If work is procured here then the upfront cost is more, but that money stays in the local economy, and the government gets a great whack of it straight back in its coffers through company tax, GST, payroll tax and the like.”
In the US, it is mandated by government that all procurement by state and federal agencies must come from the US if possible. Australia has no such official mandate, although the Covid crisis has highlighted the weaknesses in outsourcing manufacturing to China. That, coupled with an increasingly fractious relationship with China, is causing an examination of procurement policy.
The PVCA has launched a Proudly Printed in Australia logo, free to members and non-members, which can be downloaded from its website, which can be added to print products, as the nation as a whole gets behind the need to manufacture in Australia.