This election the APA, as part of Books Create Australia, is calling on candidates to back the formation of an industry plan that prioritises reading, writers incomes, industry infrastructure, new markets, and Australian content in schools.
Following several months of discussion between BCA members, and drafting led by the APA, Books Create Australia has released an agenda of the outcomes and policy changes that we think will most benefit Australia’s writers, publishers, booksellers, libraries, and readers.
Books Create believes the most important goal is that Australia remains a nation of readers – due to the personal, educational, civic, and economic dividends reading pays to both the individual reader and the nation.
To support better reading outcomes, we believe governments must take a more strategic approach to sector development. Any resulting plan must ensure we have a pipeline for new Australian stories and more sustainable careers for our writers. Those stories then need to be brought to local and international markets by a modern Australian book industry. Finally, we believe access to Australian content in schools is vital.
The BCA partners have developed seven recommendations for government action:
- Develop a national plan for books and reading.
- Fund an ongoing national reading campaign.
- Increase grant funds for new writing, new talent and First Nations’ stories
- Reform Lending Rights, including boosting funding.
- Fund a whole-of-industry digitised supply chain and data solution.
- Help take Australian voices to the world and support the development of global markets.
- Mandate Australian content in schools and provide more support for school libraries.
In the lead-up to the election, the partners in Books Create Australia will be taking these messages to our members, to other stakeholders, and to candidates. You can download our two-pager detailing how the Federal Government might best support books and writing.