Strong customer demand for extended trading hours has driven several independent supermarkets to flout current shop trading laws.
An audit, conducted by SafeWork SA, has revealed a number of independent retailers -which are bigger than 400 square metres – have been trading before 11am on Sundays, after 5pm on weekends, and also on public holidays.
“It is ironic that some of the most vocal and public opponents of shop trading law reform have demonstrated through their actions why change is so desperately needed,’’ said Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“Clearly, by their actions, they have shown that customers want them to open and workers are willing and able to work – so why on earth should trading laws stop them from trading when they want to?”
“The absurd situation we have now in which the Independent Retailers group is fighting to keep the dog’s breakfast laws some of their members are flouting, is proof positive of the need for change.
“The Government’s position is clear. Shops should be allowed to trade when they want to and our proposed reforms will provide this freedom of choice.”
The SafeWork SA audit, conducted since mid-April, found a number of supermarkets were in breach of the existing trading laws.
Treasurer Lucas said that at this stage the Government would not seek to prosecute supermarkets in breach of the complicated laws because it preferred to remove restrictions on trading hours.
However, if the Parliament rejects the proposed reform then, sadly, the existing laws will have to be enforced.
Treasurer Lucas will introduce to State Parliament the Retail Trading Bill 2018 on the next sitting day on July 3.