Call for shop hour uniformity
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin has put the onus on local councils to “smooth out” trading hours disparity, announcing he wants to see more consistency across the State.
The comments were paired with an official announcement that Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s trading hours were to remain permanently extended.
Speaking to the Kalgoorlie Miner about how the region aligned with the rest of the State, Mr Mischin said he would like to see more uniformity but it had to start with local governments.
“There is a pastiche of trading hours across the State, leaving aside the metropolitan area,” he said.
“Of all the local councils I think there are only six or seven with unrestricted hours.
“I would like to see more uniformity… for people travelling from one local area to another… or interstate and overseas.
“But it has to come from the bottom up … it’s a matter for them (local councils). I’d like to see it happen and I’ll encourage it over the next few years.”
A 12-month extended trading trial started on May 1 last year and has since been a subject of contention for small business owners, who say they are up against major supermarket chains and steep penalty rates.
In April, the City of KalgoorlieBoulder requested feedback on the trial in form of an online survey.
An overwhelming majority of the 978 respondents were in favour of shops opening Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 7am–7pm, Thursday 7am–9pm and Saturday 7am– 6pm.
However, only 4 per cent of respondents were small business owners.
“Based on the strong feedback from the Kalgoorlie-Boulder community, I have agreed to permanently extend the district’s trading hours under the Retail Trading Hours Act 1987,” Mr Mischin said.
“There is no obligation for retailers to do so and they can make a business decision whether or not it is profitable to trade for longer hours.”
Mr Mischin said he was not surprised it had taken a while for Kalgoorlie-Boulder to reach this stage but it was important if the town wanted to be seen as a tourist destination.
The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder will now look towards a trial of Sunday trading hours.
Retail shops along Burt Street are free to trade at any time.
Picture: Mary Meagher
Minister for Commerce Michael Mischin and Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor Ron Yuryevich in Burt Street, Boulder.