Parliamentary inquiry to review Sunday trading hours

Queensland's parliament will take the vexed issue of Sunday trading to an inquiry.
Queensland's parliament will take the vexed issue of Sunday trading to an inquiry.

Queensland's parliament will take the vexed issue of Sunday trading to an inquiry.

Major shops such as Coles and Woolies in places like Mount Isa are unable to open on Sunday and reforms enacted in 2017 to the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 put the matter on hold for five years.

Under current rules trading hours for non-exempt shops such as hardware shops are Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm, Saturday 8am to 6pm, Sunday and most public holidays 9am to 6pm.

Regional towns such as Mount Isa that do not currently have Sunday and public holiday trading for non-exempt shops remain that way despite local efforts to change the law.

By contrast Cloncurry's IGA is deemed an exempt shop and it opens for business on Sundays as do smaller supermarkets in Mount Isa.

READ MORE:

With the 2022 deadline fast approaching the Parliamentary Education, Employment and Training Committee will now undertake an inquiry into the effectiveness of Queensland's trading hour arrangements as required under the Act.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace told Parliament Tuesday that as part of these reforms a five-year moratorium period was introduced to allow the amendments to take effect.

"The independent 2016 review, chaired by former Speaker John Mickel, led to historic reforms to Queensland's trading hours, including the reduction of the number of trading hours zones from around 100 to just 12," Minister Grace said.

"These changes simplified trading hours' arrangements and provided a stable retail environment allowing retailers of all sizes to best service their customers' needs."

In the inquiry, the Committee will be asked to consider the impacts of the amendments made by to the Act including obtaining stakeholder feedback, and the ongoing role of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, which acts as independent tribunal.

Under the Act, the moratorium period ends on 31 August 2022.

It is anticipated the Committee will report its findings to the Queensland Parliament by 31 January 2022.

Seven day trading was discussed during the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission hearing held in Mount Isa in 2014.

The commission ruled there was not enough evidence of the benefits that seven day trading had on the community.

This story Parliamentary inquiry to review Sunday trading hours first appeared on The North West Star.