WA Labor backs 7pm weeknight trading

The state Labor Party has rejected Premier Colin Barnett's 8pm weeknight trading compromise, but says it will support 7pm trading if the government supports its small business protection package.


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West Perth
Thank you Mr Ripper for a whole extra 4 hours a week of shopping. At least now I have time to squeeze in my food shopping in that 1/2 hour after I get home from work. Oh lucky me. WA may be leading the way in the economic recovery but again we continue to show why we are called Wait Awhile!!!!

I think that it is ridiculous that there are such short trading hours here in Perth as compared to the other main cities in Australia. Currently, it is stressful having to do everything on a Saturday. At least with extended trading hours to 8pm or 9pm, more can be done. Not all of us are stay at home Mums who have the time to do the shopping and attend to other matters between the hours of 9am to 5pm.

While I think shopping hours should be deregulated, I think it's a bit rich to blame Labor for the present situation. The Lib's didn't go into the last election with a policy on shopping hours. Labor did. National did. And Labor and National are each sticking by the policy they took to the election.

In a city of 1.5 million people even if the result in a 2005 referendum was 41% in favour of extended trading hours - obviously not the majority - from the perspective of business that is a big demand (nearly half the population) and would be enough to justify a supermarket opening its doors to the public. I don't see where a referendum was any good to judge retail demand. If there is a demand even by two people for a shop to be open, it is up to the business to decide if it is worth them opening or not. Some in the WA community get upset that shops will all be forced to open additional hours. I think deregulation is more about shops determining when they will derive business from the public and adjusting their hours to suit demand. And yes, for some supermarkets that could mean 24 hours, for other retailers it could be the staus quo - as it is in other parts of Australia. Many retailers still have the same trading hours they always had over east but they made the judgment based on passing trade. Others may choose to open later and close later like department stores do overseas - many big stores do not open until 10 or 11 in the morning in big cities of the world but trade in the early evening instead capturing those leaving the workplace in the evening. What is silly with the present regime is the situation where retailers have such restrictions on when they can open, you see things like furniture stores open at 8am on Saturday mornings because they don't have Sunday afternoon as an option. Ikea stores in some other Australian cities for example do not open until 10am. If people want a vibrant after hours city that so many say they do, retail reform must be part of that. For example, you can not have some flash waterfront boardwalk development being anything more than a white elephant if every business must shut at 6pm.

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