For regional retailers.

The National Retail Association (NRA) has thanked the Queensland government for passing an amendment to allow non-exempt shops in regional Queensland to trade on Easter Saturday.

In January the NRA identified that an amendment to the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act would result in many large retailers being forced to close their doors for four consecutive days over Easter.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said, “The NRA was the first organisation to identify the issue in January and the government acknowledged that it was an unintentional drafting omission. The government were quick to respond to our concerns and we thank them for addressing the matter in a prompt manner and well ahead of Easter.

“The previous legislation would have meant that major retailers in regional towns would have been forced to shut for four consecutive days over Easter. Stores that don’t operate on Sundays and/or public holidays would not have been allowed to trade on Easter Saturday, something that has not occurred in Queensland for decades and would have been devastating for regional parts of the state.

“The Easter long weekend is one of the busiest periods for retail and the previous legislation would have greatly inconvenienced consumers in those affected areas. The previous laws would have also removed work opportunities for many retail employees, work that is voluntary under the legislation and attracts lucrative penalty rates for those who choose to perform it.”

The change to the legislation passed the Queensland parliament earlier this week with the support of the government and opposition.