On the same day the Western Australian parliament finished all business until after the 11 March election, it was announced the State would welcome extra shopping hours for Labour Day and Easter Monday this year.
On Monday, parliament was officially prorogued by WA Governor Kerry Sanderson on the advice of Premier Colin Barnett but not before Commerce Minister Michael Mischin could announce the extension of retail trading hours.
The changes mean the Labour Day (March 6) and Easter Monday (April 17) public holidays will be extended by four hours, with major retailers being able to open from 8am to 6pm.
This is in contrast to the standard 11am-5pm trading times for general retail shops on Sundays and public holidays.
Mischin says it’s not compulsory for any business to trade during the extended hours, but it does open up opportunities for retailers to open earlier or trade later in the day if they choose to do so.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia Chief Executive Officer Deidre Willmott says business and consumers welcome the Barnett Government’s initiative and the extra hours of trade would lead to increased economic activity.
“Every extra hour where shoppers can spend their cash and businesses can open their doors leads to more money being injected into the economy,” Willmott says.
“The Western Australian business community would love to see extended trade opportunities afforded to retailers and consumers throughout the rest of the year – business believes WA’s archaic retail trading laws should be fully deregulated, to give consumers and business owners freedom about when they choose to shop and trade.
“Business has been pleased by the incremental reforms to trading hours legislation made by the Liberal-National Government over the past few years and welcomes the Liberal Party’s commitment to open up trade from 9am on Sundays should they win the election – WA business urges Mark McGowan and WA Labor to make the same commitment to extend retail trading hours and boost the WA economy.”
Mischin says if re-elected in March, the Liberal Government will continue its policy of incrementally easing retail trading restrictions with the introduction of an earlier opening time of 9am on Sundays.
While trading hours have been extended for Labour Day and Easter Monday, major retailers and supermarkets in Perth will remain closed on Good Friday.
The 40th general state election will take place on 11 March.