Printing industry denounces public spending cuts

A lobbying group representing printing and packaging companies has said a plan to cut spending in the federal public service will hurt the printing industry.

Bill Healey, the CEO of the Printing Industries Association of Australia, says yesterday’s announcement to save $550 million from public service spending cuts will hurt local businesses.

“It remains unclear how the figure was determined and where the cuts will be focussed,” Healey said in a statement reported on Wide Format On-Line and elsewhere.

“However it is estimated that a significant proportion of the $6 million in cuts will be borne by printers in Canberra based on the high level of work they do for Commonwealth Agencies.”

The savings drive, announced yesterday by finance minister Penny Wong, involves efficiencies in areas such as public sector printing, recruitment advertising, commissioning consultants and travel.

Wong contrasted the efficiencies with the cuts of Queensland Liberal premier Campbell Newman.
“Labor targets efficiencies, the Coalition slashes jobs,” she told the ABC.

“And you see that approach very clearly when you look to Premier Newman in Queensland.”

The printing aspect of the cuts will include measures such as using websites to publish more departmental information.

Healey claimed that the printed word was a more environmentally sound way of communicating than using computers.

“People don’t realise that in a multimedia world, print and paper will continue to be the sustainable way to communicate,” he said.

“By contrast some 234 million items of e-waste, a figure rapidly growing, end up in landfill in Australia each year.”