The Australian Greens welcomed confirmation today that the Rudd Government will not be removing parallel importation protection for books published in Australia, in a great victory for Australia’s writers, publishers, printers and book-lovers.

The push to remove the protection came from supermarket booksellers and was opposed by the great majority of Australia’s publishers, booksellers and writers. The Greens were pleased to support the campaign throughout.

“This is a sensible move to protect and support Australia’s fiercely independent literary industry, and I am glad the Government has eventually seen reason,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne said.

“This decision is a great victory for Australia’s booklovers and for all those who the Greens fought alongside to ensure the protection stayed in place.

“It is through our writers that Australia gives voice to our identity. It was madness for the Government to ever consider a policy that would have silenced that voice.

“There was never any evidence that removing this copyright protection would actually reduce the price of books in Australia, but there was always clear evidence that it would damage Australia’s literary industry.

“There was a real risk here, not just for industry viability and economic health, but for the next generation of Australian writers if these protections were lifted.

“I am glad to see that commonsense prevailed in this matter. Maintaining the protection for books published in Australia will help our own publishing sector thrive, without the need for over-complicated budgetary measures as suggested by the Productivity Commission.”|
Senator Christine Milne