De­bate on trade rages on

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

of the re­quire­ment of the Trad­ing (Al­low­able Hours) Act 1990 and the Trad­ing Hours Or­der by the Queens­land In­dus­trial Re­la­tions Com­mis­sion,” said a spokesman from the Depart­ment of Jus­tice and At­tor­ney-gen­eral.

“Of­fi­cial warn­ings were is­sued to those traders who were found to be open and un­der­tak­ings sought that the laws will be com­plied with in the fu­ture.

“The leg­isla­tive penalty for a trad­ing hours of­fence can be up to $20,000 for a com­pany or $4,000 for an in­di­vid­ual.”

Changes to the Queens­land Gov- ern­ment Act oc­cur in par­lia­ment if busi­nesses would like to open on Good Fri­day, which the Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Ken Dobbs said is on one of the busiest week­ends in the lead -up to the peak sea­son.

“We want to ex­plore a bet­ter sit­u­a­tion for our lo­cal busi­nesses on public hol­i­days, how­ever, it’s a Queens­land law and what we would have to do is make rep­re­sen­ta­tions to change the law for all des­ig­nated tourist lo­ca­tions,” he said.

“It’s my un­der­stand­ing the ACT and the NT have a fairly re­laxed ap­proach to small busi­ness with no re­stric­tions, this could set a prece­dent.

“We should get the new gov­ern­ment to look at what’s hap­pen­ing in other states to see if there’s a bet­ter sit­u­a­tion for small busi­nesses in tourist towns.

“If there are other places do­ing it the way we would like it done, there’s no fun­da­men­tal rea­son why Queens­land could not fol­low those prac­tices, es­pe­cially with this new gov­ern­ment who wants to do some­thing to help tourism.”

Mr Dobbs also said con­sid­er­a­tion would have to be taken to pro­tect the em­ploy­ees who could po­ten­tially be “forced” to work public hol­i­days, which are re­li­gious days for some work­ers.

“The gov­ern­ment has to be fair to the em­ploy­ees, maybe any owner­op­er­ated busi­nesses could be open with the owner there and em­ploy­ees on a vol­un­tary ba­sis - we want to ac­knowl­edge that it’s not just a sim­ple mat­ter,” he said.

The Gazette called Cook MP David Kemp­ton, the Min­is­ter for Em­ploy­ment John-paul Lang­broek and the Min­is­ter for Tourism and Small Busi­ness Jann Stuckey but re­ceived no re­sponse.

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

Get­ting into the spirit: Robert and Julie White out­side St David’s on the

eve of its centenary cel­e­bra­tions

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