The Marshall Government’s move to give all suburban retailers the opportunity to open on Boxing Day, for the first time, will prompt a ‘mini referendum on shop trading hours reform’.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said consumers would, ultimately, decide the success of bringing South Australia in line with other states, by easing shopping restrictions on December 26.
“The proof of the pudding will be in the eating,’’ said Treasurer Lucas.
“If South Australians vote with their feet and flock to suburban shopping centres on Boxing Day to enjoy the sales, like we’ve seen for years in the CBD, then that will send a very clear message that there’s an appetite for change.
“There’s no doubt this will become a mini referendum on shop trading hours reform.”
SA Christmas trading hours were formally gazetted today and includes extended trade on all five Sundays in December and provision for shops to open until midnight on three separate nights.
Mr Lucas granted the exemptions under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 in response to “strong demand” from consumers and retailers and will capitalise on an influx of tourists during the holiday season.
The move will enable suburban stores to open their doors from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Wednesday, December 26 – if they choose. Shop trading hours on Boxing Day will also be extended in the CBD by an additional two hours, so they can open from 9:00am instead of 11:00am.
“We said back in October when Labor, under instruction from their Shoppies’ union mates, voted down our Retail Trading bill, that we would continue to campaign for long-overdue shop trading hours reform,” said Mr Lucas.
“Greater freedom of choice in shopping hours is supported by 75 per cent of South Australians.
“The Government’s view is why shouldn’t families in Elizabeth, Noarlunga, Port Adelaide, Tea Tree Gully and Marion have the same opportunity and freedom to shop as families near the CBD?”