Southeast Queensland will benefit from a single trading hours zone to uniform trading on Sundays and public holidays, after the Queensland Premier Peter Beattie introduced legislative amendments to Parliament last month.
Mr Beattie, responding to what he labelled a “crazy” decision by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission in December last year to limit Sunday trading to the City of Brisbane area only, introduced the Amendment to the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 on February 19.
Property Council executive director Mark Miller said that he was pleased with the amendment, labelling it a
“suitable reward” for the hard work that industry had invested in the issue over the past few years.
“Before the amendment was introduced, the system was extremely confused and many parts of southeast Queensland were severely disadvantaged.
“Under the new legislation, all businesses will be able to operate on a level playing field. It’s good news for both business and consumers.”
The new trading zone will stretch from Coolangatta to Noosa and inland to the D’Aguilar Range and Amberley, and under the new legislation retailers will have the choice of opening between 9 am and 6 pm on Sundays and public holidays.
According to the Industrial Relations Minister Gordon Nuttall, the zone will cover an extra 140,000 people in the areas between the Gold and Sunshine Coasts where there is now no Sunday trading.
“These areas are some of the fastest growing in Queensland, like Bribie Island, Sippy Downs and Coomera,” he said. “They are areas that are currently growing at a rate of more than 4,500 people a year.”
Mr Nutall added that within these areas, there were nine major shopping centres and two new centres planned for development.
“The Government’s plan will cover Ipswich, Redbank, Strathpine, Pine Rivers, Arana Hills, Caboolture, Redcliffe, Capalaba, Browns Plains, Springwood, Redlands, Logan and all areas between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, and Brisbane and the Gold Coast.”
According to the Premier, the new legislation is expected to be passed by Parliament in March and to become effective on August 1.
The new trading hours legislation, however, will still require that shops remain closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Anzac Day, Labour Day and Christmas Day.
However, small businesses will not be forced to open on Sundays and public holidays.
Sunday trading has existed in inner-Brisbane since 1988, on the Gold Coast since 1992, and the Sunshine Coast since 1994.