The State Government will today introduce to Parliament legislation to reform South Australia’s “archaic, confusing and stifling” shop trading laws to deliver long-awaited freedom of choice to consumers, traders and employees.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said South Australians overwhelmingly supported deregulating shop trading hours, which Competition Policy Review research showed creates jobs and stimulates economic growth.
“Quite frankly, it’s absurd – in this day and age – that you can buy products online twenty-four hours a day but you can’t open some supermarkets at 9am on a Sunday,’’ said Treasurer Lucas.
“It doesn’t make any sense that you can buy a box of chocolates at 9.30pm on a Friday night in Mount Barker, but travel up the road to Stirling and that same shop would be forced to close.
“These dog’s breakfast laws have penalised hardworking traders for far too long and all we’re saying is, if shops want to open, consumers want to shop and workers are prepared to work, then they should be allowed to.
“Deregulation has been working successfully in regional South Australia for years, without the sky falling in, so why shouldn’t retailers and customers in metropolitan Adelaide also be given the same choice?”
The Retail Trading Bill 2018 would repeal and replace existing laws (Shop Trading Hours Act 1977).
The move comes amid revelations 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.