Debate on trade rages on
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.
Getting into the spirit: Robert and Julie White outside St David’s on the
eve of its centenary celebrations