Compiled by Patrick Avenell
To our friends overseas, Australia is often called The Land of the Long Weekend — and this upcoming long weekend is the longest of them all.
All states and territories in Australia will have public holidays for Good Friday (29 March 2013) and Easter Monday (1 April 2013), meaning business will be interrupted from close of business today until Tuesday 2 April 2013.
There is some variety, however, among the states as to which businesses are allowed to open across the Easter Long Weekend, which are detailed below:
(Please note that the below descriptions for exemptions are limited only to the appliance and electronics retail industry. Retailers in other industries may qualify for other unstated exemptions.)
New South Wales
Good Friday and Easter Sunday are Restricted Shop Trading days, meaning stores cannot open unless they meet the State Government’s criteria for an exemption. Generally, this means the store has fewer than two owners and no more than four regular employees. Further exemptions apply for stores located in specific local government areas.
Easter Saturday and Monday are not affected.
Good Friday is a Restricted Trading Day, meaning a store must have exemption to open. The criteria for exemption is having 20 or fewer employees on the day and having 100 or fewer employees in the week leading up to the day.
Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday are not affected.
Due to Queensland size and population spread, this state has quite complicated regional rules regarding Easter trading hours. In all areas of the state, Good Friday is restricted, with non-exempt shops unable to trade.
On Saturday, all shops are able to open, though the allowable times vary depending on the region. On Easter Sunday, the densely populated southeast is restricted, as are tourist and seaside resorts, though many of the regional centres are allowed to trade, with varying rules regarding operating hours.
Easter Monday is technically listed as a restricted trading day though nearly every city and region in the state has been exempted.
Only Good Friday has restrictions in Western Australia, with normal trading for the rest of the weekend. All shops must remain closed unless they qualify as Small, which is defined as having six or fewer owners, owning few than three shops, with no more than 18 employees working at any one time.
Easter trading in South Australia is regulated based on location, which is divided between the Greater Adelaide Shopping District, the CBD Tourist Precinct and 35 Proclaimed Shopping Districts.
Adelaide CBD: Non-exempt shops cannot trade on Good Friday, Easter Sunday or Easter Monday. Easter Saturday is unaffected.
CBD Tourist Precinct: Non-exempt shops cannot trade on Good Friday. The rest of the weekend is unaffected.
Proclaimed Shopping Districts: Non-exempt shops cannot trade at all across the Long Weekend.
The exemption rules in South Australia are very complicated. Generally, however, the only exemption for this industry is for shops with floor area not exceeding 200 square metres.
The Island State is the most liberal when it comes to Easter trading, restricting trading on Good Friday and Easter Monday (until midday) only for retailer or franchise groups with more than 250 employees. Easter Saturday and Sunday have no restrictions.
Australian Capital Territory & Northern Territory
When it comes to true liberalism, nothing beats the nation’s two Territories, which have absolutely no restrictions across the Easter Long Weekend.