Retailers call for full deregulation of trading laws

Posted by Editorial on 25th September 2008

Peak retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has hit out at the decision of new WA Premier Colin Barnett to reject full deregulation of the state’s  trading laws.

ARA Executive Director Richard Evans said while the WA economy is in boom time, the thriving local retail precincts in West Australia go dead every Sunday due to ‘draconian and archaic’ retail trading laws.

“If Premier Barnett thinks that deregulating trading hours and allowing Sunday trading will damage small retailers, he has it wrong. On the contrary, Sunday trading would provide small retailers with more opportunity for sales by catering to the changing nature of the state’s population,” he claimed. “It’s absurd that in Perth – an extremely transient city and international tourist destination – consumers with cash in hand are denied the ability to shop or have a relaxing stroll through their local shopping mall on a Sunday yet Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Hobart are afforded this convenience.”

“We all live in a 24/7 economy with not only the expectation for flexible trading hours and convenient access to products and services, but also the requirement for flexible and casual working hours. Sunday trading will create employment for students and other casual workers – there is no room for this under Barnett’s archaic plan,” Mr Evans said. “In this time of difficult trading – any move from the government to support restrictions and red tape around trading hours is not welcomed by retailers.”

“Sunday trading supports the modern worker, the modern consumer and the modern small business owner – to deny it is to deny WA from entering the modern world,” he added. “We say to Premier Barnett listen to the community not sectional interests and move WA into the modern retail world.”

“Small retail businesses in a deregulated environment soon learn when demand drives their operation, allowing them to open for consumers accordingly,” Mr Evans concluded.