18/11/2009 - 12:21

Tourism precinct expansion flawed: CCIWA

18/11/2009 - 12:21

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The state government's push for extended retail trading hours has started with the expansion of the Perth tourism precinct to include parts of Subiaco, Victoria Park and Mt Lawley, and the extension of closing times.

Tourism precinct expansion flawed: CCIWA
The expanded boundaries of the Perth tourism precinct.

The state government's push for extended retail trading hours has started with the expansion of the Perth tourism precinct to include parts of Subiaco, Victoria Park and Mt Lawley, and the extension of closing times.

Commerce Minister Troy Buswell today revealed the expanded boundaries this morning which also include areas of East Perth, West Perth, North Perth and South Perth.

Closing times for the expanded Perth precinct and the Fremantle tourism precinct will extend to 9pm on weeknights and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The changes effectively allow six more Coles and Woolworths supermarkets - a total of nine in the expanded Perth precinct - to trade for longer hours, as businesses within the boundaries are already able to do so.

The new regulations will be tabled in parliament next week so that changes can come into effect on January 1, leaving The Nationals no time to overturn the changes through a disallowance motion until parliament resumes early next year.

Although the Nationals are more than likely to go ahead with a disallowance motion, Mr Buswell said they will need the support for the Labor Party.

The Labor Party previously offered a compromise of 7pm weeknight trading, after rejecting the government's conciliation of 8pm.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia chief economist John Nicolaou said the plans will further distort the local retail market and disadvantage retailers and shoppers who trade and live outside these areas.

Mr Nicolaou added that he was saddened by the news, suggesting it was another case of politics taking precedence over good policy.

"The Labor and National parties refusal to support a proposal to extend weeknight trading to 9pm is the reason why the Government has been forced to implement a second rate strategy," Mr Nicolaou said in a statement.

"The Government's proposed changes, introduced into State Parliament today, will only allow a small number of extra retailers to open on weeknights and Sundays. However, there will be many tens of thousands of stores and shoppers that will miss out.

"This is unfair and discriminates against businesses and consumers according to where they are located."

Mr Buswell today acknowledged there will be criticism of the regulations however the government was left with no option.

Mr Buswell added that legislation has been introduced to change 'tourism precinct' to 'special trading precinct' to better reflect the changes.

Legislation has also been introduced in parliament to create a new special precinct in Joondalup and the government has plans to establish precincts in Midland and Armadale.

Its understood that the City of Stirling has made an application for a tourism precinct for the Scarbrough area while Mr Buswell said the government has been approached by the City of Swan.

 

Full announcements below:

 

Expanded tourism precinct boundaries unveiled
Portfolio: Commerce

Commerce Minister Troy Buswell today revealed expanded boundaries for the Perth Tourism Precinct, which include significant areas of Subiaco, Mt Lawley, East Perth, West Perth, North Perth, South Perth and Victoria Park.

Mr Buswell said regulations to expand the boundaries would be tabled before State Parliament rose this year.

"These areas reflect a concentration of retail, dining, sporting and entertainment attractions enjoyed as much by tourists as Perth's general public," he said.

"The expansion of the tourism precinct into these surrounding areas will only serve to further enhance their status as drawcards for visitors from near and far. 

"This modest expansion is some solace to the great number of people who have no doubt been frustrated and disappointed by the Opposition's decision to deny the Perth public the basic right to choose when and where they shop." 

The Minister also announced he would amend the trading hours of all general retail shops in the Perth and Fremantle tourism precincts, effective from January 1, 2010. 

"The new orders will allow people to trade until 9pm on weeknights if they so choose - Saturdays and Sundays will retain their current 5pm closing time," he said. 

The move comes after consultation with local councils on behalf of business and is a further step in the State Government's campaign to reform shopping hours. 

Businesses on either side of a boundary road of the Perth tourism precinct will be able to trade as part of the area, however no business within the precinct will be forced to open under the new hours. 

The boundaries of the precinct will include Kings Park and Heirrison Island because of their significance as tourism areas. 

Today's announcement comes after Mr Buswell announced yesterday that Joondalup would also become a Special Trading Precinct, in addition to the Perth and Fremantle precincts.


Perth tourism precinct opening hours

Effective from January 1, 2010
Monday 8am - 9pm
Tuesday 8am - 9pm
Wednesday 8am - 9pm
Thursday 8am - 9pm
Friday 8am - 9pm
Saturday 8am - 5pm
Sunday 11am - 5pm

Background - Expansion of boundaries for the Perth Tourism Precinct 

The State Government is providing greater choice and flexibility to tourists and local consumers by widening the boundaries of the Perth tourism precinct. 

The Perth tourism precinct boundaries are set in the Retail Trading Hours (Tourism Precincts and Holiday Resorts) Regulations 2007. The regulations will be amended to include areas of significance to both tourism and the Perth community within the surrounding suburbs of Subiaco, Mt Lawley, East Perth, West Perth, North Perth, South Perth and Victoria Park (see map). The amended regulations will be tabled before State Parliament rises this year. 

The Minister has consulted with the local governments of inner city areas adjacent to the Perth tourism precinct about the expansion of the precinct area. 

The areas covered by the precinct reflect a concentration of retail, dining, sporting and entertainment attractions enjoyed equally by tourists and the general public of Perth.

Shops within the Perth tourism precinct will enjoy the benefits of Sunday trading from 11am - 5pm and, as of January 1, 2010, extended weeknight trading to 9pm.

When will the new Perth Tourism Precinct boundaries start?

The new tourism precinct boundaries will apply from January 1, 2010.

What will the hours be?

Perth and Fremantle Tourism Precinct (as of January 1, 2010)

8am - 9pm Monday to Friday

8am - 5pm Saturday

11am - 5pm Sunday.

What about shops on boundary roads of the Perth tourism precinct?

Businesses on either side of a boundary road will have the right to trade as part of the tourism precinct.

Why have Kings Park and Heirrison Island been included?

As part of the process of creating the new tourism precinct boundary, the Government identified areas that would be of significance to tourists. The inclusion of Kings Park and Heirrison Island reflects their status as tourist attractions; it does not indicate any plan to develop retail businesses in those areas.

Will businesses be forced to open under the new hours?

No. Business owners will continue to decide whether or not they wish to trade extended hours.

Why didn't the Government extend the boundaries further?

The Government has taken a moderate approach, in keeping with the constraints placed on it by the legislation.

 

Perth retailers and shoppers the pawns in a political game over retail trading hours

Statement by CCI Chief Economist, John Nicolaou

The Government's latest attempt to give Perth people what they want - more choice at the checkout - is flawed and will create two classes of retailers and shoppers within the one city.

The State's peak organisation representing local business, CCI, is concerned that the decision to expand the boundaries of the Perth Tourism Precinct to include the suburbs of South Perth, Victoria Park, Mount Lawley, Leederville and Subiaco will further distort the local retail market and disadvantage retailers and shoppers who trade and live outside these areas.

Sadly, it is another case of politics taking precedence over good policy.

The Labor and National parties refusal to support a proposal to extend weeknight trading to 9pm is the reason why the Government has been forced to implement a second rate strategy.

The Government's proposed changes, introduced into State Parliament today, will only allow a small number of extra retailers to open on weeknights and Sundays. However, there will be many tens of thousands of stores and shoppers that will miss out.

This is unfair and discriminates against businesses and consumers according to where they are located.

There is a real risk that stores that miss out under this proposal will lose customers to their rivals which can open longer. Some may even go out of business, costing hardworking business owners their livelihoods, and people their jobs.

All retailers, regardless of which suburb they have invested in, should have the option to open on weeknights and Sundays if they choose. They, and their customers, do not need Government to tell them how to run their businesses and spend their money.

The time has come for our elected representatives to stop using local businesses and shoppers as pawns in their political game of chess.

CCI urges all sides of politics to do the right thing by the people of Perth, and act in the best interests of the State, by delivering up to date trading laws all over Perth.

Western Australians who want to send a message to their local Member of Parliament that they want meaningful change to the State's trading hours laws are encouraged to visit www.choiceatthecheckout.com.au.

 

 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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