In the Age this morning: Vic. Premier John Brumby, often regarded as a pro-market economic rationalist, has slammed the Productivity Commission’s call for an end to the protection of the local book industry.

‘Removing restrictions on parallel book importation would damage Victoria’s cultural and creative industries for no real benefit. It would be an act of economic and cultural vandalism.’

Mr Brumby is urging the Rudd Government to reject the commission’s recommendation. He said ending protection for the local industry would pose a wider threat to Victoria’s culture.

  • Not stated in the report linked above, but this is the Victorian government’s official position. Launching the John Button Prize in April Brumby noted that Melbourne was now designated a City of Literature (by UNESCO), and he promised the government would be ‘standing up for our literary culture by arguing against the wholesale lifting of parallel import restrictions on books in our submission to the Productivity Commission’. [my italics]