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It’s beginning to look a lot like… deregulated shopping hours

January 2, 2020


This Christmas, we asked West Aussies how they feel about retail trading hour restrictions in WA –

– and found three in four of them believe shops should be allowed to open whatever time of the day or night they choose.

Of the 743 WA residents we spoke to for The West Australian newspaper, just under three quarters (74%) backed the de-regulation of shopping hours in WA. Men were slightly more in favour, with 80% of them thinking retail trading hour restrictions should be lifted compared to 71% of women. And it’s particularly young men aged between 18-36 who were most likely to support de-regulation (86%) — maybe because they’re the ones likely to be out-and-about at all hours more often than others.

WA Premier Mark McGowan says his government will consider their position on shopping hours at some stage, but it’s not currently high on their pile, and he has “a lot of sympathy for people in small business having a bit of lifestyle balance”.

“I know lots of people in the media and some elements of the business community would like to see changes but that’s not really on our agenda” he said. “I don’t accept the argument there’s some huge job bonanza, whether shops are going to open at 10am or 9am on Sunday morning versus 11am as they currently do.”

On the other hand, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, Chris Rodwell, says reforming our shopping restrictions would boost the WA economy, provide more chances for WA workers to earn and provide more convenience to shoppers.

“WA has been left behind by NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, the NT and the ACT who have scrapped their shopping restrictions” he said. “The WA Government’s position flies in the face of three quarter of West Australians who support scrapping our pre-internet era shopping restrictions.”

Another coin with two very clear and different sides.. but not likely to be flipped before the upcoming 2021 State elections.


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*Quotes originally provided to The West Australian newspaper: ‘Take the chains off struggling traders’, Peter Law, December 26th 2019.