Deregulating shop trading hours

If elected in 2018 a Marshall Liberal Government will deregulate retail shop trading hours to allow businesses to remain open, South Australians to keep working and consumers to continue buying what they went, when they want.

How shop trading hour restrictions harm business and restrict choice

If we want South Australian businesses to compete in the 21st century, we need to remove outdated regulations that inhibit their growth.

We need our shop trading hours to reflect the society we live in.

We are now living in a fully globalised world: you can order food at the click of a button, you can buy clothes online in the middle of the night, you can book a hotel in London on your smart phone.

Currently, many stores in our prime shopping districts are not able to operate on Sunday mornings, public holidays, or be open past 5:00pm on weekends.

Years of dysfunctional and haphazard legislation have lead to bizarre regulations being imposed on our traders. For example, it is illegal to sell a car or boat on a Sunday or public holiday, but it is not illegal to sell hardware. Similarly, the current shop trading hour restrictions only apply to some prescribed shopping areas in the metro area, but not in most regional areas.

The law is so complex that many independent grocers have actually been trading unlawfully for up to 20 years.

Trading restrictions are placed on any supermarkets over 400 square metres, which includes most large supermarket chains and more than 50 per cent of our independent supermarkets in our suburbs.

Restricted trading hours are not reflective of how South Australians live their lives.

During the summer weekends especially, people like to stay out and about until later in the evening. Under the current laws, you are not able to visit some local supermarkets after 5:00pm, even though the streets are still busy and there are plenty of people who would like the opportunity.

This places unfair restrictions on local businesses who are unable to compete with smaller, 24-hour venues such as petrol stations and online traders.

South Australians deserve the opportunity to choose how and when they shop. Traders deserve the right to choose when they open and to take advantage of busy shopping periods. The current laws are embarrassing for locals and confusing for tourists. We need to change the way shop trading hours operate to bring South Australia into the 21st century.

Our plan to deregulate shop trading hours

If elected in 2018 a Marshall Liberal Government will deregulate retail shop trading hours to allow businesses to remain open, South Australians to keep working and consumers to continue buying what they went, when they want.

We will introduce amendments to the Shop Trading Hours Act to reduce red tape and liberalise trading hours based on the following principles:

1. Greater Adelaide Shopping District (CBD and suburbs) open Monday-Saturday – midnight to 9:00pm

2. Greater Adelaide Shopping District and CBD open Sunday and Public Holidays (except Christmas Day, Good Friday, Anzac Day morning) – midnight to 9:00pm

3. Proclaimed Shopping Districts open MondaySaturday – midnight to 9:00pm

4. Proclaimed Shopping Districts open Sunday and Public Holidays (except Christmas Day, Good Friday, Anzac Day morning) – midnight to 9:00pm

These changes will provide an enormous boost to local business, greater choice and flexibility for consumers, and more opportunities for South Australians working in retail. This also means that local businesses will be able to employ more staff and create new jobs.

Our reforms will also extend to remove restrictions which previously prevented retailers from selling certain types of goods on Sundays and public holidays.

This means that you will be able to buy a car on a Sunday, if you so choose!

Extended trading hours will give retailers the ability to maximise busy shopping periods, such as the lead up to Christmas.

As outlined in our 2036 manifesto, we are committed to reversing the over regulation and excessive red tape burden that reduces the ability of our businesses to grow and create jobs, as well as regulation which unfairly restricts our choice.

These reforms to our shop trading hours are long overdue. We want to give choice back to South Australians.