Adelaide CBD shops may soon be allowed to trade on public holidays.

Adelaide City Council has voted in support of the proposed legislative changes to allow city shops to trade on public holidays.

Announced by Premier Jay Weatherill last November, the recommended changes are exclusive to the Rundle Mall precinct and central business district and will allow shops to open on any public holiday between 11am and 5pm, except Christmas Day, Good Friday and ANZAC Day morning.

“Council supports the State Government in its push to increase shop trading hours in the city,” Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said.

“The trading hour’s debate is not just about retail and shopping; it’s a marker of South Australia’s acceptance for change and our willingness to say ‘yes’ to progress.”

The proposal also includes changes to the Holidays Act to create additional public holidays on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve from 5pm until midnight. It follows an agreement between the Government, Business SA and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA Union).

The council believes the extended hours will boost retail confidence, create more jobs and boost pedestrian traffic during peak visitor times, despite acknowledging the legislation may cause  operational implications for businesses and workers.

“Extending our opening hours is an opportunity we cannot afford to squander. The City of Adelaide is the gateway to South Australia and we must be seen as part of the modern economy, which means opening our capital city nearly all day, every day,”  Yarwood said.

The Rundle Mall Management Authority Board is also supportive of the move, with recent openings on New Year’s Day and Australia Day hailed a success.

“The proposed changes recognise Rundle Mall as the heart of Adelaide and acknowledges its special role as both a tourism and retail precinct,” said Martin Haese, general manager of Rundle Mall Management.

“It will help increase retailer sales, market share, tourism, development and attract more unique retailers to the precinct.”

The legislation is likely to be considered by the House of Assembly by mid-March and if passed, is likely to be considered by the Legislative Council in late March.