Despite strong support from the community, the West Australian Labor Party has denied Perth retailers the opportunity to extend their trading hours. Leading retail bodies have slammed the decision claiming it would have given consumers more choice and created new jobs in the industry.
Yesterday the Labor Caucus decided to oppose the West Australian Government’s proposal to allow all retailers to be open to 9pm on weekdays. This decision has not been well accepted by the Australian National Retailers Association, due to the fact that it back flipped on its election promise.
“This decision to protect the old doubled standard on trading hours sends a clear message to retailers – Perth is closed for business,” said Margy Osmond, ANRA CEO.
“This is very disappointing, especially for people juggling work and families. Our own survey of 500 residents has found that 80 per cent of people aged between 25 and 44 wanted the weekday trading rules in Perth metropolitan area to be relaxed.”
Osmond also questioned the involvement of the West Australian National Party.
“The National Party does not represent any shoppers in Perth, and yet they have weighed into the trading hours debate,” she said.
“They are denying people in Perth the choice that their constituents in regional areas already enjoy.”
Osmond was disappointed that the great opportunity for the retail sector was wasted.
“We welcome any measure that increases competition and reduces barriers to new players entering the market,” she said.
“There is clear evidence that shows increasing competition will drive down prices and create more jobs.”