The WA Labor Party has back flipped on an election promise and denied Perth retailers the opportunity to extend their trading hours.
Labor caucus decided on Wednesday to oppose the WA Government’s proposal to allow all retailers to be open to 9pm on weekdays. Labor went to the polls last year promising to extend weekday trading.
“This decision to protect the old doubled standard on trading hours sends a clear message to retailers – Perth is closed for business,” said the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) CEO Margy Osmond.
“This is very disappointing, especially for people juggling work and families. Our own survey of 500 residents has found that 80 per cent of people aged between 25 and 44 wanted weekday trading rules in the Perth metropolitan area to be relaxed.”
ANRA also questioned the WA National Party’s intervention.
“The National Party does not represent any shoppers in Perth, and yet they have weighed into the trading hours debate. They are denying people in Perth the choice that their constituents in regional areas already enjoy,” said Osmond.
ANRA supports measures that boost competition.
“The WA Parliament should be working to promote competition, not stifle it,” Margy Osmond said.
“There are new retailers entering the market on the eastern seaboard, where trading hours are more relaxed. Just this week Costco opened its first store in Melbourne, and Aldi has plans to grow its network of stores to 700.
“We welcome any measure that increases competition and reduces barriers to new players entering the market.
“There is clear evidence that shows increasing competition will drive down prices and create more jobs,” said Osmond.