FAIR WORK Australia’s heavy handed descent on Port Douglas businesses on Good Friday was both unfair and unnecessary.
While there is little doubt that a number of businesses were unwittingly in breach of laws relating to opening hours, the question must be asked why not remind businesses prior to designated limited trading days, of the laws?
After all, it is not that long ago, with the demise of Work Choices that the goal posts were moved.
That numerous reliable reports of somewhat stern warnings were issued in front of staff and customers is worrying.
But it must be said that fines were not issued and the officers at least showed some understanding.
However, the action opens up the wider issue of how Fair Work Australia’s laws should apply to tourism towns such as Port Douglas.
While there is a religious element to Good Friday it does not seem to have any bearing on the actual laws as many businesses are allowed to remain open as they fit into a certain criteria.
So, why are some businesses allowed to remain open while others face the risk of heavy fines?
It’s hard to fathom, especially in a town where the vast majority of people, especially tourists and businesses are in favour of being able to both buy and sell at one of the busiest times of the year.
There is no doubt that alternatives or exemptions should be sought in consultation with government.