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Retailers welcome holiday trading extensions

Open signThe Western Australian government has eased restrictions on retail trading hours in Perth’s metropolitan area on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday and throughout the Christmas trading period.

Shops in Perth will be able to open at 7am on weekdays and Saturdays, and 8am on Sundays during the Christmas shopping period.

The extended trading hours from December 5 to January 1 will also allow shops to remain open until 6pm on weekends.

For the first time, shops can also open from 8am to 6pm on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday on September 28.

“The Western Australian government’s decision to allow trade for the first time on the Queen’s Birthday holiday is a significant win for Perth retailers, allowing them the same liberties as retailers in other states across the country,” said Australian Retailers Association executive director, Russell Zimmerman.

“While high penalty rates are still an issue, we hope that Fairwork will follow up on this landmark decision for Perth businesses with the reduction of penalty rates, with the ARA fronting a Fairwork hearing to have the General Retail Industry Award lowered on Sundays and public holidays to ease financial pressures of retailers on these days.”

Retail Council CEO, Anna McPhee, said moves to deregulate trading hours in WA are a positive step that would deliver employment and economic benefits for the state and follows announcements made by the Government earlier this year to expand Sunday trading in several regional areas.

“The decision to extend trading hours and provide consumers with an additional 59 shopping hours shows an understanding of modern consumer expectations, the value of retail to the economy and its capacity to create jobs.

“We are also particularly pleased by Minister Minchin’s commitment today to address anomalies in the current Retail Trading Hours Act, particularly for hardware stores.

“This coupled with the Barnett Government’s 2017 election commitment to extend Sunday trading hours demonstrates an understanding of the more than $14 billion and more than 130,000 jobs retail contributes and supports in Western Australia.

“Actions in recent years to expand Sunday and public holiday trading hours within the metropolitan Perth area has been particularly successful – resulting in higher consumer spending for both large and small businesses as well as higher employment.

“Western Australia has one of the most complex and restrictive retail trading regimes in the country. Extended trading hours enable consumers to benefit from the convenience of being able to shop when they want to shop,” said McPhee.

AAP

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