Millicent retailers will be able to trade on Easter Saturday and Geltwood Festival Market Day next month to capitalise on an influx of visitors and tourists to the region after the State Government granted 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 20) from 7am to 5pm, and on Geltwood Festival Market Day (Sunday, April 7) from 9am to 5pm.
“In granting this exemption, the Marshall Government 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.
“We know 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“This is yet another example of why our state’s crazy and outdated shop trading laws need to be reformed,’’ said Mr Lucas.
“If traders want to trade, shoppers want to shop and workers are prepared to work, why should businesses have to go through this complicated process to convince a Minister to allow it every year.
“Given the past criticism of union bosses and the Labor Party, it will be interesting to see whether they complain about impacts on small business and workers and their families.”