Like most here, I have been buying both gear and materials from overseas for some years and I don't feel an ounce of guilt. Why should I? About the only photographic item I do buy locally is chemicals because of the difficulties attached to importing them, particularly wet chemicals. And that is what concerns me the most about the future. There are precious few Oz retailers selling photographic chemicals even now, and selling chemicals to a small band of amateurs like us is not going to keep them viable. What happens when they disappear? Will we then have to learn to mix our own? Will the formulae be available? And where will we get the raw ingredients to do so?
And the current big retailers campaign against GST-free imports under $1k is flawed in more than one respect. Not only is the price difference in most cases a lot more than 10%, but there are many many products within our range of interest which are simply not stocked in mainstream Australian retailers. In which department do Harvey Norman and Myer keep their films and chemicals, and where is their second-hand camera department? Yes, I know that there are still a few specialist photographic retailers, mostly big city CBD based, who do stock these things but they have to cope with high wholesale prices and the high cost of their mostly CBD location and we all know the result of that.