All motor vehicle and boat dealerships across the city and suburbs will be permitted to trade on the Easter Saturday public holiday, having been granted a special State Government exemption under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said, under the Act, car dealerships and boat yards are considered non-exempt shops regardless of their size but had been allowed to trade across Adelaide until 5pm on Easter Saturday for the past 17 years – the last 5 of those as a result of a Ministerial exemption.
Mr Lucas said he had received formal exemption requests from four companies – AP Eagers Limited (Adtrans Automotive Group and Graham Cornes Motors), Jarvis Group, Southgate Automotive Group and Adelaide City Chrysler Jeep Dodge – representing 28 SA dealerships who make up the majority, if not all, of the dealers who have elected to trade on Easter Saturday in recent years.
“Consistent with what’s been permitted since 2003, all motor vehicle and boat dealerships across the city and suburbs will have the freedom and opportunity to trade on Easter Saturday (April 20), if they choose,” said Mr Lucas.
“Dealerships representing most, if not all, of the dealers who have traded on Easter Saturday in recent years wrote to me seeking an exemption under section 5 of the Act. Instead of granting an exemption to just those four companies, however, as Minister I have elected to grant an exemption to the entire industry as permitted under Section 5 of the Act.
“Importantly, and I want to make this clear, no employee will be forced to work on the public holiday, with the exemption containing a condition that all employees working on this day will do so on a strictly voluntary basis.
“Of course, the fact dealers have to come cap-in-hand to me as Minister to be allowed to open their doors is just another example of why we so desperately need shop trading hours reform. Our view is, if businesses want to trade, consumers want to shop, and employees are willing and able to work, why on earth should our silly, antiquated shop trading laws stop them?”
Mr Lucas said he had been advised by SafeWork SA that there had not been any complaints about motor vehicle and boat yards being permitted to trade on Easter Saturday in recent years.
The Easter Saturday trading exemption will be gazetted next week.
Easter Saturday (April 20):
Motor vehicle and boat dealerships in the Greater Adelaide Shopping District* until 5pm
*Greater Adelaide Shopping District (GASD) – which includes the Central Business District Tourist Precinct, the Metropolitan Shopping District and the Glenelg Tourist Precinct.