Sunday morning retail trading a win for small business, families and young West Aussies 

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) strongly welcomes the State Opposition’s adoption of CCIWA’s recommendation to allow retail trading on Sunday mornings.

Giving retailers and families the choice to start Sunday shopping at 8am means WA would finally emerge from the pre-internet era of retail trading. The current approach is out-of-step with contemporary life; a bizarre relic of decades past.

Increased trading hours would deliver economic and social benefits right across the community.

  • More hours of work for young Western Australians —The rate of youth unemployment in WA is 14.3 per cent and 134 600 Western Australians are ‘under-employed’ — that is, want to work more hours but can’t. It’s never been more important to create more hours of work for Western Australians, particularly young people. There is no good argument for unreasonably denying them valuable hours of work.
  • Drive more foot traffic into local shopping precincts —More visitation to local shopping precincts increases turnover for cafes, newsagents and other small retailers. This would provide retailers a fighting chance against online competitors, with COVID-19 accelerating the shift to online retailing. The choice is theirs to open or not, but they should have that choice to compete with 24/7 online retailers on a more level playing field.
  • More convenience for busy WA families— WA families are currently forced to navigate the most restricted shopping hours in Australia. The reforms would particularly provide flexibility and convenience for single parents juggling a career with parenthood, and shift workers such as nurses, police and cleaners. With so many parents giving up their weekends to children’s sport and other activities we need to provide them the best opportunity to manage the family schedule with a minimum of stress.

It really is beyond time for Western Australia to stop telling its citizens and businesses when they are allowed to get their shopping done. It is 2020, and the sky did not fall in when shopping hours were extended in Western Australia during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, nor when other states and territories moved forward and relaxed their restrictions many years ago.

As outlined in CCIWA’s Pre-Budget Submission, a number of other important reforms are required to WA’s outdated shopping restrictions. This should include aligning Saturday and weekday trading from 8am to 9pm, and removing the baffling and indefensible regulations which mandate the categories of products WA shops can sell. For example, a domestic development shop can sell light bulbs but not light fittings, outdoor lighting but not indoor lighting, wood-fire heaters but not gas heaters, indoor TV antennae but not outdoor TV aerials, and kitchen sinks but not dishwashers. The list of bizarre regulations reads like a Monty Python skit.

CCIWA looks forward to continuing to work with both the Government and Opposition to advance more policies to grow jobs and strengthen WA businesses.

 

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