A bid by the National Retail Association is aimed at harmonizing retail trading hours across south east Queensland to create a single zone with the same opening hours Monday to Saturday that would also change a 20-year-old, 5pm Saturday closing rule in many areas of SEQ.
The NRA, which represents over 19,000 different retailers and types of stores, lodged a bid with the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission on October 31.
“The NRA will bid to unify 10 separate trading hours’ time zones between Noosa and Coolangatta and west to Ipswich, simplifying arrangements for business owners and providing more consistent access to major stores and shopping centres for residents and tourists across the region,” the NRA said.
If successful, the application would add $111 million to the Queensland economy, and drive the creation of 1000 new jobs, it added.
NRA CEO Trevor Evans said the application would seek to create a single south east Queensland zone for trading hours, where stores would be able to open between 7am and 9pm on weekdays and Saturdays.
“Having regard to the strong economic benefits and the preferences of consumers, the NRA considers that the case has good prospects of success. The process will take six to 12 months for a hearing and then for a decision to be issued,” he said.
“There is support for simplifying the rules right across the community and specifically within the retail sector across all the categories of retail and personal services.”
He pointed out that petrol retailers (service stations) are already an exempt category of shop for the purposes of the trading hours rules in Queensland, under the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 (Qld).
There would be no changes to Sunday or public holiday trading hours or areas outside the south east. Smaller stores, and those already exempt from the rules, would not be affected by the changes and no stores would be forced to open.