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Cheap imports 'mean less Aussie stories'

AAP logoAAP 10/12/2016 Andrew Leeson

Changing copyright law to allow cheaper book importations into Australia will hurt the local book industry, says Labor's infrastructure spokesman.

Speaking at a book store in Sydney's inner west, Anthony Albanese said government plans to scrap restrictions on importing books would end up hurting Australian literature.

"We need to protect our Australian industry so that Australian stories can be told," Mr Albanese said.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese © Provided by AAP Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese

"So many Australians have learnt the Australian story based upon published works and it's important that we cherish that."

The proposed changes were first recommended to the Rudd government by the Productivity Commission in 2009 and would mean no restrictions on wholesale foreign imports of cheaper books.

Currently Australian publishers have 30 days from a book's release date to publish and establish copyright before any overseas publisher can import the book into the country - the federal government says it will scrap this law.

Mr Albanese said the Productivity Commission had put forward a "let the market rip" proposal.

"Authors, publishers, book sellers and printers are all on one page in saying that's a bad idea," he said.

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