Busi­ness op­poses re­tail cut

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - PE­TER LAW

A POLL of WA busi­nesses has found 70 per cent are against the McGowan Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to cut back ex­tended shop­ping hours this Christ­mas.

The sur­vey of 230 busi­nesses from a range of in­dus­tries also found 72 per cent be­lieve lo­cal re­tail­ers suf­fered be­cause they couldn’t com­pete with on­line shops that aren’t re­stricted by WA’s shop­ping hour laws.

The Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try WA, which has led calls for the La­bor Gov­ern­ment to re­verse its re­duc­tion of ex­tended trad­ing hours, polled its mem­bers.

In past De­cem­bers, Perth shops would by now be al­lowed to open an hour ear­lier from 7am, but re­tail­ers are this year be­ing de­nied that op­por­tu­nity un­til De­cem­ber 17.

The CCIWA said 66 per cent of polled small busi­nesses dis­agreed with the de­ci­sion and 58 per cent be­lieved it would make peo­ple more likely to shop on­line in­stead.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Rod­well called on the Gov­ern­ment to im­me­di­ately re­view its de­ci­sion.

“A clear ma­jor­ity of West Aus­tralians have said they dis­agree with the Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to re­duce ex­tended trad­ing hours over the Christ­mas pe­riod and this has now been backed by WA busi­ness, in­clud­ing an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of small busi­nesses,” he said.

The WA Lib­er­als this week ob­tained sub­mis­sions by re­tail­ers and unions to the Gov­ern­ment.

The Shop­ping Cen­tre Coun­cil of Aus­tralia wrote that last year there was “strong de­mand from both cus­tomers and re­tail­ers” for ex­tended trad­ing over Christ­mas.

Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor An­gus Nardi said: “The Gov­ern­ment’s ap­proval aligns with our key rec­om­men­da­tions for Sun­days, along with our data and anal­y­sis that more peo­ple gen­er­ally shop closer to Christ­mas.”

Com­merce Min­is­ter Bill John­ston yes­ter­day ruled out al­low­ing shops to open from 7am be­fore De­cem­ber 17.

“Those 7am starts at the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber did not prove pop­u­lar. There were no ad­di­tional jobs cre­ated, so we thought this was the best com­pro­mise,” he said.

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