Shop Trading Hours

29 Jul 2011 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the new Minister for Industrial Relations on the subject of shop trading hours.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The Tourism and Transport Forum, which is Australia's peak tourism body and includes members such as the SA Tourism Commission, Adelaide Airport and city hotels, has attacked Adelaide shopping hours, saying, 'The Tourism and Transport Forum has asked the Productivity Commission to deregulate shopping hours in Rundle Mall,' and it wants the federal government to overwrite the state government laws. My questions to the minister are:

1.As the new minister for this portfolio, will he consider relaxing the city's shop trading hours?

2.Why is Adelaide treated differently to the Glenelg tourist precinct?

3.Will the government cooperate with a Productivity Commission inquiry?

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY (Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for State/Local Government Relations) (14:29): After an extensive review of shop trading hour laws in 2007, the state government endorsed the recommendation that the current trading hours should be retained. It is considered that they strike a satisfactory balance between the competing interests of the various sectors of the retail industry and the larger interests of the community. The government will continue to put in place special arrangements, where justified, for shop trading hours at the appropriate times of the year.

An exemption request was approved for Target Australia Pty Ltd to authorise 13 Target stores within the metropolitan area to trade from 9pm until midnight on Thursday 21 July 2011 in conjunction with their annual toy sale. In 2011 ANZAC Day, 25 April, fell on Easter Monday. On 8 July 2010 the former minister announced that Easter Tuesday, 26 April 2011, had been declared a special public holiday for 2011. The special holiday on Easter Tuesday resulted in an extended long weekend, and had implications for shop trading hours.

On 19 March 2011 the government announced the special shop trading arrangements that would apply over the Easter/ANZAC Day extended long weekend. A closure notice was issued under section 5A of the act, requiring shops within the ambit section of 13(5e)—that is, hardware, furniture, floor coverings, motor vehicle spare parts and accessories stores—to remain closed until 12 noon on ANZAC Day. Non-exempt shops in the central shopping district, the Adelaide CBD, were able to apply for exemptions to authorise trading between the hours of 11am and 5pm on Easter Tuesday 26 April.

A number of exemption applications were received for trading over the Easter weekend, including shops within the central shopping district. Temporary exemptions were approved for the Rundle Mall precinct, Target Centrepoint store, and the Coles supermarket in Grote Street from 11am until 5pm on Easter Tuesday, 26 April. Additional hours of trading were also approved for the proclaimed shopping districts at Millicent for Easter Saturday and Minlaton for Easter Saturday and Easter Tuesday. Applications for retailers in the metropolitan area to trade extra hours over Easter were declined. These included special circumstances applications from Westfield Marion, the National Age Swimming Championships at the new aquatic centre, and the Harbour Town tourist destination.

Hours for which non-exempt shops could open over the Easter long weekend, subject to the granting of individual exemptions, were as follows:

·Thursday 21 April 2011—open until 9pm;
·Friday 22 April 2011—closed;

·Saturday 23 April 2011—open until 5pm, metropolitan only;

·Sunday 24 April 2011—closed;

·Monday 25 April 2011—closed;

·Tuesday 26 April 2011—closed, CBD by exemption 11am to 5pm;

·Wednesday 27 April 2011—open until 9pm.

Partially exempt shops were required to remain closed on Good Friday, but could have traded from 9am until 5pm on every other non-trading day. However, the former minister issued a closure notice requiring partially exempt shops to remain closed until noon on ANZAC Day. Exempt shops could have traded without the restriction over this period; however, as in previous years, these stores were requested to voluntarily close until 12pm on ANZAC Day.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:33): You did not answer any of my questions. I have a supplementary question arising from the answer, nevertheless. Has the minister confirmed that the shop union is still the tail that wags the Labor Party dog?

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: What has that got to do with the answer? The Hon. Ms Zollo.