A question put forward to the Hon. T.G. ROBERTS (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) regarding shop trading hours.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, representing the Minister for Industrial Relations, a question about shop trading hours.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have an email newsletter dated 25 February which is entitled ‘Shop talk’, which is produced by the Property Council of Australia and the Shopping Centre Council of Australia. Under the title ‘Public holiday trading hours for Easter and Anzac Day’ it states the following:
Trading hours restrictions around Australia over Easter and Anzac Day this year are the usual bewildering maze, with the exception of Tasmania and the two territories. To assist centre managers, the SCCA, with the assistance of the ARA and NRA, has prepared this summary of the arrangements in each State and Territory. What makes the situation even more frustrating is the inability of the South Australian Government, in particular, to respond to queries about what hours shops can trade over this period.
‘Look at the act’, you are told—but why the average retailer or shopping centre manager should have to sort their way through the myriad definitions, exemptions, sections and regulations (and then cross reference these with the public holidays that have been declared in each State), when the bureaucrats obviously cannot, is not clear. If governments insist on imposing such arcane and complex rules, then they have an obligation to at least explain those rules to those who have to comply with them. The NSW, Victorian, QLD and WA governments at least provide information on Easter, Anzac Day and Christmas-New Year trading hours on their websites each year. It is about time the South Australian government did likewise.
My questions are:
1. What consultation has the government had in relation to shop trading hours for these holidays?
2. Why has it not provided any information to assist retailers?
3. Does it consider that this is an acceptable situation?
4. When will it provide some answers to the retail sector?
The Hon. T.G. ROBERTS (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation): Shop trading hours has been a vexed question in South Australia for a long time. A referendum has just been held in Western Australia, which, I understand, changed shopping hours. I will refer the honourable member’s important questions to the minister in another place and bring back a reply.