All Victorian businesses may trade on Easter Sunday

Posted by Josette Dunn on 9th February 2011

The Baillieu Government is delivering on its election commitment to enable all Victorian businesses to trade on Easter Sunday.Innovation, Services and Small Business Minister Louise Asher said all businesses will now be able to take advantage of high tourist numbers during the busy Easter period, especially businesses in regional areas.

The Shop Trading Reform Amendment (Easter Sunday) Bill 2011 to be introduced to Parliament today will remove trading restrictions that prohibit some shops, but not others, from trading on Easter Sunday.

Ms Asher said the Baillieu Government is moving quickly to end the nonsensical and confusing situation created by the previous Labor Government whereby a business with fewer than 20 employees, such as a milk bar, was allowed to open, while a large department or variety store must remain closed.

“The Baillieu Government is committed to providing freedom of choice for Victorian businesses,” Ms Asher said.

“Any business that wishes to trade on Easter Sunday will now be legally able to do so and that business itself will make that choice, not the government.

“This change provides absolute clarity and certainty for businesses and positions Victoria to generate millions of dollars in revenue from increased tourism and retail activity.

“All businesses will now be able to capitalise on the influx of holidaymakers at this busy time of year and help to ensure Victoria is a tourist destination that meets international expectations,” Ms Asher said.

The Easter Sunday trading ban was introduced by the former Labor Government as part of its industrial relations policy in 2003 and has cost tens of millions of dollars in lost sales for businesses each year.

Prior to the trading ban in 2003 any retail business, regardless of employee numbers, was able to trade on Easter Sunday.

Christmas Day, Good Friday and the morning of ANZAC Day will remain non-trading days.