Labor leader Eric Ripper last week announced he and Premier Colin Barnett had negotiated an in-principle agreement allowing Perth’s shops to remain open until 9pm on weeknights, though James Pearson, chief executive at WA’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, claims retailers should be allowed to open on Sundays.
The agreement comes nearly 12 months after the Labor caucus together with Ripper rejected an attempt by Barnett to extend Perth’s trading hours to 9pm.
In a statement last week, Pearson questioned why the new agreement continues to deny all Perth retailers the opportunity to trade on Sundays.
“The reform, which only allows shops to open on a Sunday if they sell durable consumer goods, is a dog’s breakfast, creating confusion for retailers and shoppers as to what they can sell and buy on Sundays,” Pearson said.
He claims all Perth shops should be allowed to open on Sundays in alignment with the 20 or so other Western Australian towns that have extended trading hours as a result of them being categorised as tourism precincts.
Ripper reported that negotiations are still underway to determine the finer points of Perth’s proposed trading scheme and emphasised the necessity of appointing a small business commissioner.
“The commissioner will provide a low-cost non-litigious means of resolving disputes between landlords and tenants in retail shopping centres,” Ripper said.
The proposed agreement currently only allows Perth retailers that sell durable consumer goods to open on Sundays.