Small businesses and young West Aussies back freer shopping in WA 

Aaron Morey

Chief Economist 

CCIWA has today released ‘Time To Open’, a comprehensive new report on the case for easing WA’s antiquated restrictions on when people can shop. 

The report includes new results from CCIWA surveys, showing strong majority support for reform across retail businesses (71%), small businesses (64%) and households (69%), particularly the removal of restraints on weekend shopping. The strongest support came from women (72%) and younger people (71% under 44 yrs). Three in five small businesses (64%) support reform as a way to increase foot traffic into local retail precincts, with only 21% opposed. 

Fresh economic analysis pinpoints the accelerated growth secured by other States following reform, unlocking a more than 25 per cent increase in retail turnover in three years. In Tasmania, for example, retail employment grew 17 per cent post-reform, almost double the national rate. Hours worked surged by 2.1 million hours, an increase of 7.7 per cent. 

Critically, the report directly busts common myths used against calls for freer shopping in WA. It includes testimonials from young West Australians, frustrated by the reduced work opportunities imposed by shopping restrictions. 

The report forms the latest pillar in CCIWA’s reform platform, to strengthen and diversify the economy, building upon recommendations to lighten the burden of payroll tax, and to make it easier for women to return to the workforce after having children. 

The ‘Time To Open’ report shows that easing WA’s shopping restrictions would: 

  • Ease the disadvantage of local WA shops compared to online retailers; 
  • Create jobs and hours of work for the 29,300 young Western Australians out of work and the 112,700 Western Australians who need to work more hours but can’t get them; 
  • Provide greater convenience for busy families; 
  • Increase patronage in retail precincts and increase retail turnover for small businesses. 

CCIWA has delivered the report to the State Government and the Opposition and calls for the close consideration of our common-sense, zero-cost reform proposals. 

Read the full report: “Time To Open: Retail Trading Hours in WA – A Case for Reform”. 

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