The representative body of the Australian printing Industry, The Printing Industries Association of Australia believes that the announcement of the Federal Government’s Carbon Tax strategy will fuel greater economic uncertainty and exacerbate weak business and consumer confidence for the foreseeable future.

The announcement on the weekend confirmed that the new tax would bring cost increases to business.

Printing Industries CEO Bill Healey said the printing industry was already operating in a challenging environment which now had a new dimension of increased operating costs and uncertainty to deal with.

“The industry already operates under reduced margins. It would appear that the two-speed economy has put a break on spending in a number of areas that traditionally have generated demand. This has been exacerbated

“Our surveys have confirmed that industry costs are increasing to a point beyond the capability of many businesses to absorb them,” he said.

to a degree by surplus capacity in the industry and the shift to new online delivery channels.

“The industry will now face rising energy costs, raw material costs and possibly freight and transport costs.This will be a major disincentive for investment.

“Industry profit margins are already stretched beyond acceptable levels and companies are also under pressure from other communication channels. On top of that competition from offshore manufacturers is having a two-fold impact.

“Imported print, mainly from Asia, is costing our industry work. Offshore competition in the retail and consumer goods sectors is hurting Australian manufacturers and having a flow-on effect to our industry which produces the packaging, advertising and other promotional printed matter for them.”

Mr Healey said that while the printing industry was not among the 500 top emitters of greenhouse gases, the indirect impact of the Carbon Tax on an industry with manufacturing businesses in every electorate of the country would be significant and drawn out, affecting profitability and future viability.

Printing Industries National Manager for Policy and Government Affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian said the assistance measures announced by the government were unlikely to ease the carbon tax pain.

“The proposed Clean Technology Investment Program, designed to assist manufacturers modernise their equipment and upgrade to less polluting equipment and cleaner technologies, is likely to be a competitive based grants program.

“The industry will now face rising energy costs, raw material costs and possibly freight and transport costs.This will be a major disincentive for investment.

“An inherent disincentive is the requirement that for every dollar contributed by the government, printing businesses need to contribute three dollars. There is also the requirement that the business must have facilities that use more than 300 megawatt hours of electricity or five terajoules of natural gas a year.

“This latter requirement effectively restricts the program to certain size printing businesses,” he said.

Mr Tchamkertenian said Printing Industries’ initial assessment was that at best, only up to 20 per cent of printing industry businesses may be eligible for funding.

He said the government had heeded Printing Industries calls for sectoral economic modelling and had released analysis as part of the carbon price package showing positive growth forecasts for the printing industry.

“The Treasury economic modelling shows that the printing industry is expected to continue to grow over the long term under the government’s proposed Carbon Price Mechanism and global emissions action scenarios.

“The modelling shows that less ambitious emission reduction targets (core policy) will have no impact on the industry’s gross output by 2020.

“If Australia and the global community pursue more ambitious emission reduction targets, (high price scenario), then the printing industry’s gross output is expected to be impacted marginally,” (-0.1 per cent).

Mr Tchamkertenian said that under both the core and high price scenarios, the Treasury modelling showed that the printing industry’s gross output would be 14 per cent higher in 2020 when compared to the 2010 level.

By 2050, the core policy scenario would cause the printing industry gross output to increase by 1.6 per cent and under the high price scenario by 2.0 per cent.

“Compared to 2010 gross output levels, printing industry gross output is forecast to be 147 per cent higher under the core policy scenario and 148 per cent higher under the high price scenario,” he said.

(Similar forecasts for the ‘Communication Services’ sector forecasts gross output growth at 312 per cent and 319 per cent respectively; Business Services at 241 and 243 per cent respectively; Iron Ore mining 408 and 430 per cent respectively.)

Mr Tchamkertenian said that reflecting the shift of resources from manufacturing to services, the printing industry’s economy wide employment share was forecast to fall from 0.8 per cent in 2020 to 0.6 per cent by 2050.

Mr Healey said the forecasts underlined the importance of businesses continuing to find ways of reducing costs, a very well known scenario for the printing industry.

“Our surveys have confirmed that industry costs are increasing to a point beyond the capability of many businesses to absorb them,” he said.

“We must also remember that the industry has made a major effort over the last decade to improve production and environmental efficiencies. These are being further promoted through programs including Sustainable Green Print (SGP) and competitive manufacturing promoted by the Association.

“Printing Industries is working to raise community awareness that print is one of the most effective, trusted and environmentally friendly forms of communication the world has and that this won’t be changing anytime soon.

“We aim to help members meet the challenges that will no doubt arise from the new tax in order to ensure that print continues to be a vital and affordable part of the communication mix and one of Australia’s important sources of employment and business opportunity.

"We are already working on a number of initiatives in the bulk power purchasing, workers compensation, business and environmental sustainability areas,” Mr Healey said.

Carbon Tax catalyst for energy saving workshop

The first workshop to help printing companies minimise their electricity consumption and energy bills will be held in Sydney on 21 July.

Printing Industries National Manager, Learning and Development, Ian Walz,  said the release of the Carbon Tax measures by the Federal Government last weekend should provide a major incentive for companies to reduce their energy consumption.

“The sooner companies can embrace new methodologies to minimise their power consumption, the sooner they will profit from the cost savings to be made. There is no reason why every company in NSW should not be taking advantage of this opportunity," he said.

“The day-long session is free, they just need to commit time and people to attend and then implement the learning’s across their business.”

Five workshops are scheduled for Sydney and others may be scheduled for non metropolitan areas depending on expressions of interest received.

“This is one of the ways Printing Industries is trying to minimise the pain of increased energy costs for its members because these costs will become a very real economic threat for many businesses, particularly where margins are low and business conditions are challenging,” Mr Walz said.

The course is mapped to the competitive manufacturing competency unit MSACMT270A: use sustainable energy practices. A formal qualification and Certificates of Attainment will be provided to course participants on successful completion of classroom activities and submission of the Assessment Tasks and supporting information where necessary.

Workshop participants also receive a comprehensive workbook as well as valuable resources including an Energy Tracking and Reporting Tool to assist with monitoring energy use and implementing energy efficiency initiatives.

Each course is limited to 10 participants (two people from each company). The Thursday 21 July course has a couple of places remaining. Wednesday 3 August is booked out, Thursday 4 August, Wednesday 17 August, Thursday 18 August also have placed remaining.

Registrations for the Sydney courses or expressions of interest for locations outside of the Sydney area should be directed to Ian Walz on (02) 8789 7362 E-mail:

The courses are being run by Printing Industries in partnership with the Office of Environment & Heritage NSW, SD Environmental Management and Applied Training Solutions.

Printing Industries Association of Australia


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