In an overwhelming show of support for the deregulation of shop trading hours, thousands of South Australians have voted with their feet and hopped into shops right across Adelaide – the first time all city and suburban retailers have been allowed to trade on Easter Monday in SA.
Treasurer Rob Lucas – who granted a special Ministerial exemption under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 to allow all metropolitan retailers to trade from 11am to 5pm yesterday – said strong consumer and retailer demand was “proof positive’’ of the need for further shop trading reforms.
The move brings South Australia in line with every other state and territory and follows the success of a similar exemption granted for Boxing Day last year, which saw more than 130,000 people flock to suburban retailers right across Adelaide for post-Christmas sales, in addition to the CBD.
“We know South Australian consumers and retailers have been crying out for greater freedom of choice in trading hours and the strong turnout is further proof of the need for real reform,’’ said Treasurer Rob Lucas.“
For the first time in SA, we’ve seen thousands of consumers, businesses and retail workers beyond regional South Australia permitted to shop, trade and earn extra wages on the Easter Monday public holiday – and they have jumped at the chance.“
While Labor and their mates at the Shoppies’ Union want to deny South Australians that choice, the reformist Marshall Liberal Government is committed to ensuring families are afforded the same opportunities and freedom to shop no matter where they live.”
In granting the Easter Monday exemption, Mr Lucas accepted the fact Easter fell late in April this year and – as it stood across a seven-day period, with four restricted trading days – (Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday and Anzac Day) there would be considerable demand.
Good Friday and Anzac Day morning were quarantined, obviously, so Easter Monday was the logical option.“
The power to issue this exemption is within the current law and Labor governments and Labor Ministers have used it in the past in extending shopping hours in the lead-up to Christmas, including non-stop 24-hour trading,” Mr Lucas said.
Treasurer Lucas made it clear no employee would be forced to work, with a condition in the exemption providing that all employees who worked during this period did so on a strictly voluntary basis.