A look at what different laws apply in the states and territories shows that Western Australians will be taking it easy over the break while those in the Northern Territory are are the least restricted.
For the purposes of this story, the following dates and day names apply:
Friday 22 April 2011: Good Friday
Saturday 23 April 2011: Easter Saturday
Sunday 24 April 2011: Easter Sunday
Monday 25 April 2011: Anzac Day
Tuesday 26 April 2011: Easter Monday
VICTORIA: Good Friday, and between 12.01am and 1pm on Anzac Day, are considered restricted trading days. Exempt businesses include chemists, petrol shops, restaurants, service providers and hire outlets. However, they can only be exempt if they have 20 or fewer persons employed in the shop at any time during a restricted trading day, and if the number of persons employed by the business and its related entities is no more than 100 at any time during the 7 days immediately before the restricted trading day.
NEW SOUTH WALES: The NSW Industrial Relations rules that Good Friday, Easter Sunday and prior to 1pm on Anzac Day are restricted trading days. In order to trade on a restricted day a retailer must have an existing exemption or meet one of the following criteria: is a small shop retailer, the business operates within the Sydney trading precinct, is a holder of a hotel license, or a take away liquor store. These exemptions need to have been applied for at least 28 days prior to the restricted day.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: According to the SA Industrial Relations, in addition to the usual requirements for public holiday trading, non-exempt shops must remain closed on Easter Sunday. However, non-exempt shops in the Greater Adelaide Shopping District (Metropolitan Area) can open on Easter Saturday. All non-exempt shops (large supermarkets, department stores) must be closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day. Additionally, non-exempt shops in Proclaimed Shopping Districts (country areas) cannot trade on the day after Easter Saturday.
QUEENSLAND: Over the Easter period, non-exempt shops are to remain closed on Good Friday and only certain areas are allowed to trade on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Independent retail shops are required to be closed on Good Friday (unless they are predominantly food and/or grocery stores). On Anzac Day, non-exempt shops are to remain closed whilst independent retail shops are required to remain closed until 1pm (unless they are predominantly food and/or grocery stores).
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: This state is about on par with SA in terms of complicated restricted trading legislation. For the state in general: Good Friday is closed, Easter Saturday trading is from 8am to 5pm, Easter Sunday is open from 11am to 5pm, Anzac Day is closed and Easter Monday is open 8am to 5pm. In the rest of Perth metropolitan area shops will be able to trade as follows: Good Friday is closed, Easter Saturday is open from 8am to 5pm, Easter Sunday is closed, Anzac Day is closed, Easter Monday is open 8am to 5pm. These hours apply to general retail shops only. Shops that have applied for a Small or Special Retail Shop Certificate can trade each day of the year. Small shops can trade 24 hours a day if they choose, while special shops can trade from 6.00am to 11.30pm each day of the year.
TASMANIA: Trading hours in the southern-most state are mainly deregulated, with the exception of Good Friday and Anzac Day, that requires retailers to close between 12.01am and 12pm for stores or franchise groups employing more than 250 employees. Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are not public holidays and have no trading restrictions.
NORTHERN TERRITORY: This is the most deregulated state in Australia, with no official restrictions on any days. However, it is common practice to close on Good Friday, and on Anzac Day, stores do not generally open before 12pm.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: There are no restrictions on any non-alcohol related trading.