The Queensland government will stop commercial printing operations at the government’s printing business GoPrint in the wake of a disastrous financial performance from the company.
According to Bruce Flegg, minister for public works, Queensland government, the state printer is expected to do $8.9m of work this year, and lose $3.6m in the process.
Bill Healey, CEO, Printing Industries says “It’s a decision that should have been made a long time ago. In a very tight market, there will be a flow of work in the industry and the government won’t lose money. We have contacted the Premier of Queensland, we are happy to facilitate redundant workers.”
In a typical response from printers in the area Mathew Whitton, owner, Fast Proof Press says “It’s definitely a good thing for the printing industry, for starters the government shouldn’t even be involved in the printing industry, so it’s all good news apart from the job losses. It will have a good impact on local printers and the industry.”
Greg Mcintosh, director, Copy Cat Printing says “Under normal circumstances it is a great decision, the work needs to be sent out to the private sector, it was undercutting the market by driving prices down. We will wait and see the outcome.”
The closure of the 150 year old printer’s commercial operations will see 40 workers lose their jobs, with the government already offering redundancies. Bill Healey said that Printing Industries was happy to work with the government and other agencies to find employment for Goprint staff. Arouind a dozen staff will stay on at Goprint, which will now focus entirely on ‘reserved services’ – the printing of legislation and other secure government documents.
GoPrint is the last government printer that has been operating in Australia apart from the Northern Territory. Originally known as the Government Printing Office, Goprint was formed in 1862 and celebrated 150 years in February, which makes it one of the first and longest running operational arms of the Queensland Government.
Printing Industries' Queensland general ganager, Neal McLary, said that following the government’s announcement earlier today, he had already received an approach from one Queensland printing company interested in talking to Goprint staff.
He says, “This is a good start and I encourage all our industry companies to examine their capacity to employ Goprint staff and to contact our Queensland office on 3356 0022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with an expression of interest.”
According to McLary Goprint’s closure was part of the Association’s broader dialogue with the Queensland Government on its whole of Government print procurement process. He says, “Both issues are of considerable concern to the Queensland printing industry in an increasingly competitive environment. These will be important areas for discussion when we meet with the government shortly.”
Bill Healey says, “While this was a hard decision, we believe the government print work can be undertaken more efficiently and effectively by the private sector, a trend that is being reflected by other state governments around the country.”