SA un­wraps Box­ing Day trade

Sunday Mail - - NEWS -

The move means shop­pers want­ing to head to their favourite cen­tres such as Marion, West Lakes, Burn­side and Tea Tree Plaza can do so on the pub­lic hol­i­day for the first time in South Aus­tralia.

Mr Lu­cas told the Sun­day Mail the de­ci­sion, which brings South Aus­tralia in line with other states, will en­able sub­ur­ban stores to open their doors from 9am to 5pm on Box­ing Day if they choose.

Re­tail­ers in the Ade­laide CBD, who have pre­vi­ously been able to trade on Box­ing Day and are ex­pected to feel the im­pact of shop­pers be­ing able to go else­where for the first time, will be given an ex­tra two hours to trade, open­ing from 9am in­stead of 11am.

“This is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for South Aus­tralian re­tail­ers and con­sumers who, for far too long, have been cry­ing out for ex­tended trad­ing on Box­ing Day be­yond the CBD,” Mr Lu­cas said.

“We know the Christ­mas pe­riod is one of the big­gest and busiest for re­tail­ers and the in­ter­state ex­pe­ri­ence tells us trad­ing on Box­ing Day can gen­er­ate sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tional sales, while cre­at­ing valu­able em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for those staff who’d like to work.

“There are, of course, also many tourists in Ade­laide at that time of year and ev­ery­one is fa­mil­iar with the pop­u­lar­ity of Box­ing Day sales in the CBD, with crowds queu­ing from early in the morn­ing for the chance to shop drop.”

The move, which has al­ready been ticked off on by Mr Lu­cas, will spark a pre-Christ­mas stoush with the state’s most pow­er­ful union, the Shop Distribu­tive and Al­lied Em­ploy­ees As­so­ci­a­tion (SDA), pre­vi­ously headed up by Op­po­si­tion Leader Peter Malin­auskas.

Mr Lu­cas said no em­ployee would be forced to work on Box­ing Day. ’til they

“To re­in­force this, the ex­emp­tion con­tains a con­di­tion that all em­ploy­ees work­ing dur­ing this pe­riod will do so on a strictly vol­un­tary ba­sis,” he said.

“If a re­tail worker wants to take time off on the pub­lic hol­i­day then there’s noth­ing stop­ping them.

“But not ev­ery­one wants to sit on the couch and watch the Box­ing Day Test while eat­ing left­over pud­ding – there will be many peo­ple who will see this as a great op­por­tu­nity to earn some ex­tra wages.”

In June, when launch­ing a cam­paign against dereg­u­lated shop­ping hours, SDA as­sis­tant sec­re­tary Josh Peak warned dereg­u­la­tion would cost South Aus­tralians jobs and work­ers could be pres­sured to work more unso­cia­ble hours such as pub­lic hol­i­days.

“Longer trad­ing hours won’t mean con­sumers have more money in their pock­ets,” he said at the time.

Mr Lu­cas has made the de­ci­sion to grant the spe­cial ex­emp­tion un­der the Shop Trad­ing Act in re­sponse to “strong de­mand” from con­sumers and re­tail­ers and will cap­i­talise on an in­flux of tourists dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son.

The Gov­ern­ment’s elec­tion prom­ise to dereg­u­late shop trad­ing hours was de­feated by La­bor and the cross­bench in the Up­per House last month.

“The ar­gu­ment in favour of this move is no dif­fer­ent to the ar­gu­ment La­bor gov­ern­ments and La­bor min­is­ters have used in the past in ex­tend­ing shop­ping hours in the lead-up to Christ­mas, in­clud­ing non-stop 24-hour trad­ing,” Mr Lu­cas said.

“The Gov­ern­ment’s view is why shouldn’t fam­i­lies in El­iz­a­beth, Noar­lunga, Port Ade­laide, Tea Tree Gully and Marion have the same op­por­tu­nity and free­dom to shop as fam­i­lies near the CBD?”

Mr Lu­cas said a num­ber of stake­hold­ers re­sponded to his re­quest for feed­back about ex­tended trad­ing hours over the Christ­mas pe­riod ask­ing for Box­ing Day trad­ing but the SDA did not re­spond.

Pic­ture: CALUM ROBERTSON

BUZZ: Box­ing Day in Run­dle Mall.

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