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Simplify Queensland trading hours, urges NRA

open sign, hours, shopping, shopThe National Retail Association (NRA) is today pushing for standardised 0700 – 2100 trading hours throughout the south east corner of Queensland.

Proceedings have commenced before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, with the NRA bidding to unify 10 separate trading hour time zones between Noosa and Coolangatta and west to Gatton.

“Queensland has the most complex trading hours rules in Australia, with 98 pages of legislation, regulations and instruments, containing more than 180 legal obligations and prohibitions,” said NRA CEO, Trevor Evans. The state has 50 different trading hours zones, each with its own different rules.

“If successful, this bid would reduce the shambolic patchwork of trading hours zones across south east Queensland, and by doing so, add $111 million to the Queensland economy and drive the creation of 1000 new jobs,” said Evans.

The NRA lodged the application in October 2014, advocating for shops to open longer should they wish, however the proposed extended opening hours would not be mandatory. “These laws are confusing for everyone, they are prohibitive to job creation because they don’t allow retailers to cater to their customers’ needs, and they are not in line with how people work and live in 2015,” said Evans.

“Customer shopping habits have been changing over recent years. Fewer of us are working standard hours and many people are leading busier lives and juggling commitments at the times we used to shop.

“We are not living in a closed domestic market, but are competing against online and overseas competitors who are open essentially 24 hours a day,” said Evans.

The hearing is expected to run for around three weeks.

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