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PMA, IDEA join new retail lobby group

PMA has joined the Australian Traders Group, a new retail lobbying organisation formed ‘to work collectively to address key regulatory issues confronting the retail sector and link with government to achieve real change on behalf of its members and the wider industry.’

Peter Rose: Shared concerns extend beyond GST-free sales.
Peter Rose: Shared concerns extend beyond GST-free sales.

The group has been brought together by the Australian Retailers Association. The Imaging and Digital Entertainment Association (IDEA) is also listed as a member of the ATG (though incorrectly named ‘Photographic Imaging Council of Australia’).

‘The ATG morphed out of the Fair Imports Alliance as it was realised there were other areas of mutual concern other than just GST-related,’ explained PMA executive director, Peter Rose.

‘It has been suggested future areas of attention will include landlord and tenancy, product safety, grey and parallel imports.

‘The first meeting, held last week, gave all involved encouragement on progressing some of the “big issues” on behalf of our members.’

IDEA did not attend the inaugural meeting of the new group.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman outlined the scope and intent of the ATG: ‘Collectively, the ATG represents tens of thousands of retailers and suppliers, all of whom are advocating and lobbying for changes such as reducing the Low Value Imports Threshold (LVIT), counterfeit products, retail tenancy and other various tariffs, taxes and charges which put unnecessary regulatory burden onto Australian retailers and impede their ability to employ and meet modern consumer demand.

‘The ARA has recently consulted with the industry bodies which now comprise the ATG to reduce the LVIT and close the GST loophole uncovered by an increase in online overseas imports.

An increasing amount (sic) of Australian retailers operating online are on an un-level playing field as a result of this loophole. (And will stay on that un-level playing field until 2014/5 at the earliest unless there is a change of thinking in Canberra.. See separate story.)

The ATG is also calling on the Government to remove remaining tariffs so Australian retailers can compete against overseas competitors, as well as lobbying to combat the surge in counterfeit products currently making it through Australian borders,’ Counterfeit camera bags and memory cards specifically impact photo retailing.

In addition to the ARA and the PMA, the ATG consists of: Australian Booksellers Association; Bicycle Industries Australia; Australian Music Association; Imaging and Digital Entertainment Association; Photo Imaging Council of Australia; Retail Cycle Traders Australia (Inc); Australian Toy Association; Australian Sporting Goods Association; Franchise Council of Australia; and Snowsports Industries of Australia.

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