News laws in Western Australian will allow retailers across the Perth metropolitan area to open until 9pm on weeknights starting on 1 November.

Under the old laws, major retailers had to close at 6pm on weeknights other than Thursday.

Premier Colin Barnett said this will give general retail shops the choice to extend their trading hours.

“These extended trading hours will be welcomed by busy families trying to find a balance between their working lives and needs at home,” Barnett said.

He also said the changes reflected the State Government’s plan for moderate, incremental reform of Perth’s trading hour arrangements.

“I have already received positive feedback from retailers and consumers, excited about the opportunities these changes will bring.”

As part of the new laws, retailers of the ‘special trading precincts’ – Midland and Armadale –will also be able to stay open for business on Sundays.

“We plan to have 9pm trading across the metropolitan area and the ‘special trading precincts’ of Midland and Armadale in place in time for the busy Christmas shopping period,” Commerce Minister Bill Marmion said.

Marmion has also released the ‘Whitegoods and Other Consumer Durables’ discussion paper to possibly allow Sunday sales of consumer durables such as whitegoods and household furnishings.

“The discussion paper on Sunday trading in certain goods does not propose that all shops be able to open on Sundays,” he said.
“Instead this discussion paper gives options as to whether more goods could be bought and sold on Sundays.”

James Pearson, Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Western Australia chief executive, has welcomed the decisions but believes more needs to be done.

“Allowing all stores across Perth to open until 9 o’clock, and introducing Sunday trading to a few areas like Midland and Armadale, is a sign that WA’s retail trading hours are slowly being brought up to date,” he said.

“The State’s peak business organisation, CCI, wants all sides of politics to bring to an end years of uncertainty by allowing all shops across Perth to be allowed to open on Sundays as well.”

A recent survey commissioned by CCI, revealed that almost 7 out of 10 Perth people want to be able to shop on a Sunday.

“The introduction of Sunday trading in selected precincts is proof that there is overwhelming community support for greater choice, more convenience and lower prices at the checkout,” Pearson said.