By Paul Hayes
PERTH, WA: Perth’s retail sector is finally set to come into line with the rest of the country and extend its trading hours to late nights and Sundays.
After six months of negotiations between WA Premier, Colin Barnett, and opposition leader, Eric Ripper, an announcement was made yesterday that will all allow shops in the Perth metropolitan area to open until 9pm on weeknights and more shops to trade on Sundays.
Under the terms of the deal, all retail shops and supermarket chains, such as Coles and Woolworths, will be allowed to open until 9pm on weeknights, while shops selling ‘durable consumer goods’ will be able to trade on Sunday.
Whitegoods and electrical retailers are believed to fall under the ‘durable consumer goods’ banner.
The move to extend shopping hours comes after years of resistance from various quarters, as well as an Opposition proposal in August last year for an extension to 7pm, which prompted Barnett to ask, “Why are you so far back in the dark ages?”
The extension of trading hours brings Perth into line with not only the eastern and southern states,, but also roughly 20 country towns in Western Australia which have been able to employ longer trading hours due to their ‘tourist town’ status.