‘Extend retail hours to boost youth jobs’

The State Government could reduce the highest level of youth unemployment in 21 years by deregulating retail trading hours, according to CCIWA Chief Executive Officer Chris Rodwell.

His call came after the latest Australian Bureau of Statics showed youth unemployment in WA at 16.7 per cent.

“The Government can create new jobs for young people overnight by removing restrictions on when stores can open their doors,” Rodwell says. “This decision is in the ‘too-easy, let’s-do-it-now’ basket.”

A 2014 Productivity Commission report said that further deregulation of trading hours was likely to benefit in particular the youngest and oldest age cohorts, first time job-seekers and those with a preference for part-time or casual work.

“We can’t have WA retailers entering the fray of the digital economy with their hands cuffed when the retail sector provides 420,000 jobs for Australian youth each year,” Rodwell says.

“These are jobs that should be supported, not hampered, by onerous regulation that is no longer reflective of how West Australians live.”

Deregulation of retail trading hours would not only create more jobs for West Australians but also lower prices for consumers, create greater convenience, boost economic growth and make WA a more attractive place to live and do business, he says.

“Competition is tough enough for brick and mortar retailers as they face increased competition from online retailers which trade day and night across the globe.

“While CCI welcomes the State Government’s extension of retail trading hours for the Easter long weekend, in line with last year’s trading hours, unfortunately WA still has the most restrictive retail trading hours in the country.”

Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory all have totally, or significantly, deregulated shopping hours. The South Australian Government will soon implement its election commitment to deregulate trading hours, except on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day morning.

► As WA’s peak business advocate, CCI works to elevate the concerns of WA industry to key nationwide decision-makers. Find out more about our advocacy efforts here.

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