By Paul Hayes
PERTH, WA: West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has admitted that while this week’s announcement of extended trading hours in Perth is a step in the right direction, it’s not a perfect solution.
“We are moving forward – not perfect, but we are moving down the path of deregulation,” Barnett told Perth radio host, Simon Beaumont.
Barnett and WA Opposition leader, Eric Ripper, announced on Tuesday that they had reached an in-principle agreement that will allow retail shops and supermarket chains to remain open until 9pm on weeknights, while shops selling ‘durable consumer goods’, such as whitegoods, can trade on Sundays.
But the Premier acknowledges that the deal has not pleased everyone in the retail industry and there is still a long way to go before everything is worked out.
“We are dealing with a situation where we’ve got a very divided [retail] industry,” he said.
“So I think we’ve got to try and be fair to all, but my intent, and that of the Liberal Party, is to move continuously down the path toward deregulation, but to do it in a staged way.
“I know it’s messy, but we’re going in the right direction.”
While refusing to put a timeline on the eventual deregulation of trading hours, he said that he expects to happen in, “a relatively short period of time”.