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Marshall Government orders urgent review of shop hours

State Treasurer Rob Lucas has ordered SafeWork SA to prepare an urgent report on anomalies and absurdities in South Australia’s antiquated shop trading laws as well as claims of regular breaches of the current laws.

“This report will be critical in the preparation of legislation for parliamentary debate on the Marshall Liberal Government’s reforms to provide greater freedom of choice for SA families to shop,” said Mr Lucas.

“However, it will also report on claims that some groups who have been vocal opponents of reform of shop trading hours laws may have been trading in breach of the current laws.

“In particular SafeWork SA have been asked to investigate whether any supermarkets with floorspace greater than 400 square metres in Adelaide’s suburbs had been trading unlawfully on public holidays and after 9pm on weeknights.

“Initial informal advice (which has to be confirmed) from SafeWork SA indicates there may be evidence of such breaches.”

SafeWork SA has also been asked to investigate whether another supermarket greater than 400 square metres in a regional community, which had traded unlawfully on Sundays for many years, had simply moved its fridges in from the wall and been allowed to continue to trade.

Other issues to be considered by SafeWork SA will include:

- Whether stores were reducing their floor space by erecting curtains or boxes so they could
trade on public holidays but hadn’t complied with the requirement to do so for seven days
prior to the public holiday;

- Why stores like Harvey Normans have to erect roller doors inside their stores only in SA
because on public holidays they are allowed to sell furniture and bedding but not allowed to
sell electrical goods;

- Why stores like Bed Bath N’ Table can’t sell linen and towels on public holidays because
they are specialists when other stores can sell the same goods on public holidays because
they sell other goods as well;

- Whether the very popular 24 hour service stations are complying with the onerous 80 per
cent requirement that the aggregate price of fuel sold is 80 per cent or more of the aggregate
price of all goods sold from these outlets;

- Why the IGA supermarket at Moana can’t sell drinks and ice creams to families coming off
the beach after 5pm on weekends yet the On the Run supermarket down the road can trade
24 hours a day.

“There are so many anomalies and absurdities in our antiquated shop trading hours laws that will only be resolved by Parliament supporting the Marshall Government’s comprehensive reform proposal,” said Mr Lucas.

“If Parliament refuses to support sensible reform then SafeWork SA will have to enforce the current antiquated shop trading laws.”