18/08/2009 - 14:30

Labor to oppose retail trading change

18/08/2009 - 14:30

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The push for extended retail trading hours in Perth is doomed to fail after the Labor opposition decided to oppose the move, joining the Nationals who also oppose change.

The push for extended retail trading hours in Perth is doomed to fail after the Labor opposition decided to oppose the move, joining the Nationals who also oppose change.

Premier Colin Barnett was scathing in his criticism of Labor's stance while the chamber of commerce and industry rounded on both Labor and the government's partner, the Nationals.

CCI Chief Officer, Membership and Advocacy, John Nicolaou said the Labor and National parties have let down Perth retailers and consumers by deciding to block legislation to remove unnecessary red tape and extend weeknight trading hours in Perth until 9pm.

"Our political leaders have missed an opportunity to do what's best for local shoppers and retailers by removing the current restrictions which dictate where and when people can shop," he said.

Mr Ripper said Labor's stance reflected community opinion. More than 1250 small businesses had been consulted with more than 85 per cent indicating they did not want weekday retail trading hours extended to 9pm.

He said it was up to Premier Colin Barnett to make the case for change and to convince his coalition partners - the National Party to support his bill.

"It's unprecedented that three Government ministers will vote against the Government's own legislation."

 

Statements from Labor leader Eric Ripper and the CCI are pasted below.

 

Labor to vote against Barnett's trading hours package

Labor caucus has today resolved not to support Premier Colin Barnett's plan to extend retail trading hours to 9pm on weeknights, Labor Leader Eric Ripper said today.

Mr Ripper said after two months of consulting with thousands of small businesses and customers from across Western Australia, Labor has listened to the Western Australian community and will vote against the proposed legislative changes.

"Labor MPs have used the Parliamentary winter recess to meet with small business and customers," Mr Ripper said.

"Many of the MPs used surveys in local shopping centres, direct mail to small businesses and advertising in their local newspaper to gauge the views of their local community.

"More than 1250 small businesses have been consulted with more than 85 per cent indicating they did not want weekday retail trading hours extended to 9pm.

"In making our decision today, Labor has actively engaged with the community. Colin Barnett has not."

Mr Ripper said that Labor recognised that some electorates did want extended weeknight trading hours, including Perth's CBD, but the overwhelming majority of electorates did not want change.

He said it was up to Premier Colin Barnett to make the case for change and to convince his coalition partners - the National Party to support his bill.

"It's unprecedented that three Government ministers will vote against the Government's own legislation."

Mr Ripper said the Premier had also failed to convince the Western Australian community of the merits of his proposed legislation.

 

WA Labor and National MPs deny Perth shoppers more choice and convenience, jobs and lower prices

 

Statement by CCI Chief Officer, Membership and Advocacy, John Nicolaou

The Western Australian Labor and National parties have let down Perth retailers and consumers by deciding to block legislation to remove unnecessary red tape and extend weeknight trading hours in Perth until 9pm.

Labor MPs, who only a year ago at the last state election backed a proposal to introduce longer shopping hours across the State, have today bowed to minority groups which are determined to prevent other retailers from competing on a level playing field.

The State's peak business organisation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia, is disappointed that Labor and National MPs are prepared to deny Perth consumers greater choice, more convenience and lower prices in the retail sector.

Today will be remembered as the day that some of our elected representatives voted NO to:
- job creation;
- lower prices at the checkout;
- greater choice and convenience;
- greater competition, and;
- bringing the State into the 21st century.

Instead, politics has stood in the way of good policy.

Our political leaders have missed an opportunity to do what's best for local shoppers and retailers by removing the current restrictions which dictate where and when people can shop.

CCI will continue to call for the removal of this unnecessary clamp on business and consumers.

The WA business community believes extending weeknight trading hours is an important reform that will deliver many significant benefits for the State and its people.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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