Peak group criticises timing


The peak body representing manufacturers of paper for the printing of newspapers, magazines, and other hard-copy media has attacked the Morrison Government for the timing of its announcement of Australia’s new defence pact with the US and UK.

CEO of the Newsprint Suppliers Association, Tim Burr, (main picture) said member companies were complaining about the lack of notice they were given about this week’s announcement.

“Our organisation represents everyone from the trucking firms transporting newsprint rolls, the paper manufactures whose factories churn out those big rolls, right down to the owners and operators of pine plantations whose trees are used as the raw material,” Mr Burr explained.

“None of us was told in advance of the AUKUS announcement and that’s really causing us problems already.

“You’ve seen for yourself how Paul Kelly in The Australian is already soaking up even more column centimetres than he usually does on the pages of The Australian and The Weekend Australian pontificating about the new agreement and what he thinks it means. (pictured)

“We’ve also seen other regular columnists and commentators put in their two bob’s worth – people like Greg Sheridan and the Peter Van Onselen who writes for The Oz, plus all the usual suspects in the Canberra media gallery in other papers.

“This AUKUS announcement has the potential to soak up thousands of hectares of newsprint to accommodate the views of all these very important columnists and commentators whose opinions we clearly can’t do without.

“Our members should have been given a lot more notice so we could step up paper production to meet this inevitable demand.

“Given the lifecycle of our plantation pines, it would have been good to have been tipped off a couple of years ago that the AUKUS deal was in the pipeline.

“I now can’t guarantee that there will be sufficient newsprint to meet even Paul Kelly’s output alone.

“If we start to run out we’ll have no alternative but to start importing even more newsprint from China than we already do,” Mr Burr said.