WA Government announcement to extend trading hours welcomed by retailers

The Western Australian Government’s decision to unlock retail trading hours in Perth’s metropolitan area on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, throughout the Christmas trading period, New Year’s Day and Australia Day has been welcomed by Australia’s top retailers.

Retail Council CEO Anna McPhee said moves to deregulate trading hours in Western Australia are a positive step that would deliver employment and economic benefits for the state and follows announcements made by the Government earlier this year to expand Sunday trading in several regional areas.

“The decision to extend trading hours and provide consumers with an additional 59 shopping hours shows an understanding of modern consumer expectations, the value of retail to the economy and its capacity to create jobs,” she said.

“We are also particularly pleased by Mr [WA Minister for Commerce] Minchin’s commitment to address anomalies in the current Retail Trading Hours Act, particularly for hardware stores.

“This, coupled with the Barnett Government’s 2017 election commitment to extend Sunday trading hours, demonstrates an understanding of the more than $14 billion and more than 130,000 jobs retail contributes and supports in Western Australia.

“Western Australia has one of the most complex and restrictive retail trading regimes in the country. Extended trading hours enable consumers to benefit from the convenience of being able to shop when they want to shop.”

Australian Retailers Association Executive Director Russell Zimmerman added that the decision to allow trade for the first time on the Queen’s Birthday holiday is a significant win for Perth retailers, allowing them the same liberties as retailers in other states.

“While high penalty rates are still an issue, we hope that Fair Work will follow up on this landmark decision for Perth businesses with the reduction of penalty rates, with the ARA fronting a Fair Work hearing to have the General Retail Industry Award lowered on Sundays and public holidays to ease financial pressures of retailers on these days,” he said.

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