Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LETTERS -

IF QUEENS­LAND Pre­mier Camp­bell New­man is fair dinkum about cut­ting red tape in his Government, then there is no bet­ter place to start than slash­ing the bu­reau­cratic bull­dust which pre­vents Port Dou­glas re­tail­ers from trad­ing on Good Fri­day.

Ev­ery­one knows the Dou­glas re­gion is a haven for hol­i­day­mak­ers over the Easter long week­end and for re­tail­ers it is the first sig­nif­i­cant trad­ing pe­riod for sev­eral months.

But here we are in 2013 and our lo­cal re­tail­ers are be­ing es­sen­tially re­li­giously per­se­cuted fi­nan­cially be­cause of bans on Good Fri­day trad­ing.

In th­ese com­pet­i­tive eco­nomic times, our lo­cal tourism econ­omy needs to put its best foot for­ward at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.

And that means, when the tourists are here in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers, we need to be able to ser­vice them.

The thou­sands of tourists who are ar­riv­ing in town for the Easter break do not care for a rule that was in­tro­duced in an­other era when vir­tu­ally ev­ery­one be­longed to a Chris­tian re­li­gion.

They are here to en­joy the small win­dow of op­por­tu­nity they have in our re­gion, which in­cludes be­ing able to walk down Macrossan St and wan­der into a shop if it takes their fancy.

Re­tail­ers face sig­nif­i­cant fines of more than $20,000 if they ig­nore the threats from the De­part­ment of Fair Trade cronies and open their doors.

While it would be nice to be held warmly in the bo­som of a cushy government job and work nine to five with all the perks of bu­reau­cracy, the re­al­ity is for many of us Good Fri­day is just an­other day. And when that day is go­ing to cost you thou­sands of dol­lars in lost trade, it cer­tainly puts a damp­ener on the Easter cel­e­bra­tions.

Greg McLean Man­ag­ing ed­i­tor

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