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ANRA takes aim at trading hours


clockThe CEO of the Australian National Retail Association (ANRA), Margy Osmond, has labelled Australian trading laws as “archaic” and says current trading hours restrictions need to be addressed.

“Our current trading laws are archaic and NSW is one of the worst states. It is just not good enough if the aim of the sector is to be modern, flexible, create more jobs, and give customers what they want,” said Osmond.

“Retail is a service industry which means we need to be open when and where people want to shop. In a modern world that means weekends and public holidays.”

“According to our surveying in NSW 67 per cent of retail workers are happy to work on public holidays and weekends. They in fact welcome the opportunity to earn the available penalty rates (82 per cent).

“Of those prepared to work, 27 per cent said it fits with their family and study commitments and almost one in five said they would rather have the time off when other people are at work. The majority are very clear that they cannot be forced to work it is voluntary.

“The organisers of the current campaign against a minor change to trading hours in NSW seem to be ignoring that the sky did not fall in when Victoria made these changes several years ago.

“In NSW, Boxing Day trading is allowed in 40 council areas but forbidden in another 112 jurisdictions. In South Australia, shops in Adelaide can’t open before 11am on a Sunday and after 5pm on a Saturday.

“Why should the shoppers of Western Sydney, Newcastle, and Wollongong be treated as second class citizens with no opportunity to shop when and where they want and need to?

“If jobs are the issue and they should be, our inability to trade at sensible hours is putting local jobs at risk. We are quickly losing market share to overseas foreign retailers and this will come at a cost to Australian jobs.

“Global reports show a vast amount of Australians shop online in the US between the hours of 7pm and 9pm. American retailers understand this consumer driven change and are adjusting their strategies to fulfil this trend at the expense of local Australian employers,” said  Osmond.

ANRA says it welcomes the federal government’s proposal to reduce restrictions placed on trading hours as part of the COAG Agenda, and will seek to meet with NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Frydenberg, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, ahead of the next COAG meeting in May.

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