Fair Trading Minister Doug Shave has given an undertaking that trading hours for retail shops would not be changed during the current term of the State Government.
“Before the last election we gave a commitment that if re-elected, existing trading hours would be maintained during this term of government,” Mr Shave said.
“This commitment recognises that current trading hours contribute to a competitive environment which gives consumers reasonable access to goods and services supplied by small and large retail business.”
Mr Shave said he had considered the recommendations of an industry reference group and the operation of the Retail Trading Hours Act and decided that it was in the community’s interest for current regulations on shopping hours to remain.
“Small retailers and family business are significant employers in Western Australia,” he said.
“They provide customers with a range of local products and services that are alternatives to those of the major retail chains. Supporting local business makes sound sense as there are flow-on benefits to the State’s economy.
“I think we have the right balance. Current arrangements give the public access to seven day trading in the Perth and Fremantle tourism precincts and smaller retailers and there are special provisions for shopping over holiday breaks and the coming festive season.”
Outside Perth, local government authorities can apply for extended trading hours to meet their tourism, promotion and special events needs.
“This means that regional areas can choose the hours which best suit their communities,” Mr Shave said.
The Federal Government had recently responded to recommendations from a Federal Parliamentary Committee for additional safeguards to be put in place to enhance competition in the retail sector.
“Until we can gauge the impact of the changes at the national level to provide a fair environment for small business, it would not be responsible for the State Government to alter the level of protection for small retailers,” Mr Shave said.
Media contact: John Clune 9213 6500