The decision of new WA Premier Colin Barnett to reject full deregulation of the state’s antiquated trading laws isn’t doing small retailers any favours, says the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).
ARA executive director Richard Evans said while the WA economy is in boom time, the thriving local retail precincts in West Australia go dead every Sunday due to draconian and archaic retail trading laws.
“If Premier Barnett thinks that deregulating trading hours and allowing Sunday trading will damage small retailers, he has it wrong. On the contrary, Sunday trading would provide small retailers with more opportunity for sales by catering to the changing nature of the state’s population.
Especially in these difficult times, it’s absurd that a city such as Perth can’t extend its trading hours to Sunday while any other big city in Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Hobart can, says Evans.
"We all live in a 24/7 economy with not only the expectation for flexible trading hours and convenient access to products and services, but also the requirement for flexible and casual working hours. Sunday trading will create employment for students and other casual workers – there is no room for this under Barnett’s archaic plan.
“Small retail businesses in a deregulated environment soon learn when demand drives their operation, allowing them to open for consumers accordingly,” Evans said.