Millicent retailers will be able to trade on Easter Saturday and Geltwood Festival Market Day to capitalise on an influx of visitors and tourists to the region after the State Government once again granted a special exemption under existing shop trading laws.
Treasurer Rob Lucas granted the exemption to the Millicent Proclaimed Shopping District under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 following a formal application by the Millicent Business Community Association on behalf of its members, including three major retailers.
The exemption will allow all stores – considered too large under the Act to be permitted to trade on these days, normally – to open on both Easter Saturday (April 11) from 9am to 5pm, and on Geltwood Festival Market Day (Sunday, March 29) from 9am to 5pm.
“In granting this exemption, I took into account the results of community consultation and the significance of both the Easter holiday period and the Geltwood Festival to the region, particularly from a tourism perspective,’’ said Treasurer Lucas.
“Millicent, and indeed the entire South East, enjoys an influx of visitors and tourists at this time of year and this will enable all stores and supermarkets to be able to capitalise on this increase in trade, if they choose.
“Given the stores will be required to close on the three other days of the Easter holiday long weekend, the government accepts that there will be considerable consumer demand to warrant the granting of an exemption.
”Millicent is one of only three proclaimed shopping districts remaining in South Australia under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977, which prevents supermarkets larger than 400sqm and shops larger than 200sqm from opening on specific days, including public holidays and Sundays.
“This is yet another good example of why our state’s outdated shop trading laws need to be reformed,’’ said Mr Lucas.
“The Government’s view is, if traders want to trade, consumers want to shop and employees are willing and able to work, why should businesses have to come cap in hand to me, as the Minister, to be allowed to open?”