The Federal Government has established an industry council in response to the recommendations made by the Book Industry Strategy Group (BISG) last year.
The government said that the Book Industry Collaboration Council will be funded ‘from within the existing resources of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education’ and will be ‘supported by working groups’. The government said it supports the establishment of the council because ‘ongoing collaboration between the various parts of the book supply chain is vital to strengthening the position of the Australian book industry within a global market’, and similar supply chain bodies exist in other markets.
David Throsby from the department of economics at Macquarie University will chair the council, which the government said ‘will work to maintain a dialogue between the industry and government'.
The publisher members of the council are CEO of Melbourne University Publishing and president of the Australian Publishers Association Louise Adler, and manager of Monash University Publishing Nathan Hollier. They are joined on the council by general manager of Pages & Pages Booksellers and president of the Australian Booksellers Association Jon Page, and CEO of Mary Ryan's Books Bill Concannon. Representing authors and agents are chair of the Australian Society of Authors Sophie Masson, and president of the Australian Literary Agents Association Sophie Hamley. President of the Printing Industries Association of Australia Susan Heaney, and general manager of Griffin Press Ben Jolly, will represent book printers.
Other members of the council include: immediate past president of the Australian Library and Information Association Margaret Allen; chair of the Public Lending Rights Committee Evelyn Woodberry; Curtin University's John Byron; managing director of BuddeComm Paul Budde; federal secretary of the print division of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Lorraine Cassin; federal secretary of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance Christopher Warren; and general manager of the manufacturing policy branch of the department Anne Byrne.
Page told Bookseller+Publisher that he is looking forward to being a part of the council and ‘finding constructive ways of improving our industry to ensure its longevity’. ‘Our industry is undergoing fundamental change at the moment and working with the government together as an industry to manage these changes effectively and efficiently can only be a good thing,’ said Page.
Terms of reference
The government said that the council will ‘give advice to the Minister on the priority issues for the book industry’ and will ‘oversee implementation of the industry-led reforms identified in the BISG report and ensuing Government response’.
The council will also be asked to ‘identify strategies across the book supply chain that increase industry capability and competitiveness and communicate these to industry and government’ as well as ‘develop, communicate and monitor implementation plans for identified industry-led reforms’.
According to the council’s terms of reference, it will also ‘build strong productive relationship and linkages with other bodies and assist in bridging any divide between business and research’ and ‘identify options for the establishment of a sustainable and independent industry body which can address issues of standards and competitive improvement in the Australian book industry supply chain’.
The governmant has formally responded to all 21 recommendations made by the BISG. More information is available here.