Like books? Like Australian books? Read on.
A threat is looming, people. A threat that is making a raft of Australian authors come out from behind their laptops and speak up. And their words are chilling.
Magda Szubanski, winner of the Australian Book Industry Award Book of the Year for her outstanding memoir, Reckoning, said: ‘If this comes in, I will not write another book and I will really start thinking about leaving the country.’
Listen to Magda Szubanski speak to Mia Freedman on the No Filter podcast.
Listen to the full interview in itunes.
Richard Flanagan, winner of the world’s most prestigious literary prize, the Man Booker, for his magnificent novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North said that these changes will ‘destroy any future for Australian writers.’
Tim Winton, winner of the ABIA Non-fiction Book of the Year for his compelling investigation into the way Australia makes us who we are, Island Home, said these changes will ‘usher in a new colonial era in publishing. Once again Australian writers will be edited in London and read in export editions at home as they were when I was a kid. That’s just a huge and pointless step backwards.’
The prolific Thomas Keneally, author of too many books, and too many awards to mention, directing his comments to Malcolm Turnbull said: ‘(Australian publishing) has raised itself to be the 17th biggest book industry in the world. I refuse to believe that such a robust Australian as yourself wants to do away with that and make us again and forever what we were when I began to write – a colony for other people’s minds and other people’s books.’
If you are anything like me, you might be finding it hard to bring yourself to give a toss about the current federal election. The five PMs in five years thing has taken its toll. And now, after a brief flirtation with the idea that in Malcolm we may have finally scored that leader with the ‘steady hands at the wheel’ that his predecessor kept slogan-ing on about, that we may have a man with a vision and a keen eye on innovation to boot, I’m ashamed to say that it kind of feels like it doesn’t even matter what any of them say any more. I’ve found myself feeling completely over it. Beyond over it. I’ve stopped listening.
Stopped listening, I should say, until I found out about THIS, because now suddenly, I’m all ears:
Apparently our ray of light, the man who is keen on innovation, might not be so keen on books. Not Australian ones, anyway. Word has it that he’s strongly considering implementing a proposal by the Productivity Commission that will spell catastrophe (that’s c-a-t-a-s-t-r-o-p-h-e) for the Australian publishing industry. And by almost guaranteed extension, for Australian authors, and for lovers of Australian books.