Several supermarkets across South Australia have been given until May 20 to comply with the law and reduce their floor area to 400m2 or less if they wish to continue to operate outside prescribed shop trading hours.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said SafeWork SA had written to 11 supermarkets identified as having a floor area exceeding 400m2 and, therefore, too large to be lawfully trading outside the hours permitted under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977.
The supermarkets were measured by SafeWork SA inspectors in December and January.
“This absurd situation is the sole making of the Labor Party and their union boss mates who have fought so strongly to deny mum and dad traders the freedom to open their doors and serve their customers whenever they choose,’’ said Treasurer Lucas.
“The reformist Marshall Government would like nothing more than to be able to give South Australians the choice to trade, work and shop when they like, but the Labor opposition – led by former union boss Peter Malinauskas – seem hell-bent on denying South Australians that choice.
“We can’t understand why a supermarket of 399 square metres is allowed to open when it likes, but one up the road with just two extra square metres of floor space is restricted.
“But the law is the law. And, though it currently resembles a dog’s breakfast, we have no choice but to ensure the law is complied with.”
Mr Lucas said it was not the government’s intention to prosecute any supermarket for a past breach of the Act.
However, he said he had been advised by SafeWork SA that should a supermarket continue to break the law post May 20, further action would be taken which may include the issuing of a prohibition notice which attracts a maximum penalty of $100,000 in addition to an extra $20,000 for each day a shop is open outside prescribed hours under the Act.