23/08/2005 - 22:00

Retail trading issue divides

23/08/2005 - 22:00

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A quirk of old shire boundaries has led to division in Albany over retail trading.

Retail trading issue divides

A quirk of old shire boundaries has led to division in Albany over retail trading.

When the town and shire of Albany amalgamated in 1998, the shire had seven-day trading, which allowed the then locally owned Farm Fresh to continue operating seven days a week.

Farm Fresh was eventually sold to Woolworths, and the seven-day trading allowance carried over.

Within the town of Albany, however, Coles is unable to trade seven days a week, while Dewsons, with fewer than 10 employees, can.

After a two-year trial of Sunday trading during school holidays, which concluded early last year, Albany held a referendum in May on the issue of seven-day trading, which was close, but ended up against seven-day trading.

Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Jo Hummerston said retail trading was a very divisive issue, and that the chamber did not take a stance in the referendum.

“We have always had a policy of free enterprise,” Ms Hummer-ston told WA Business News.

“But our members were so evenly split on the issue that we did not want to take a position.”

Recommendations have been made to the State Government that retail outlets not be allowed to open on Sunday, but a decision is still pending.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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