BY JEMMA THOMSON
The Barnett Government is purposely misleading consumers by saying they agree with the de-regulation of trading hours, according to Consumer Protection Shadow Minister Francis Logan.
Under new retail laws businesses will be allowed to stay open until 9pm on weeknights and Sunday trading will be extended to special trading precincts from November.
Mr Logan said the government was limiting the extent of retail de-regulation by trying to control consumers.
“Despite what they say, Liberals are not for de-regulation, they never put it on the table and they were never for it,” he said. Mr Logan said special trading precincts were confusing and livelihoods were on the line.
“There is no clear process for those in or outside the border and those on the border are getting lost,” he said.
Western Australia Retail Traders Association director Wayne Spencer said parliament did not understand what consumers wanted and retailers had lost staff, money and trade as a result.
“It’s a dog’s breakfast,” he said.
“Although we are moving forward this kind of transient position can cause damage to those retailers who can’t trade when others can.”
Mr Spencer said the association recently conducted polls that showed seven out of 10 people wanted seven -day trading and the precincts were taking choice away from consumers.
“This is not the democracy we are supposed to be living in,” he said.
The government has released a discussion paper about what goods could be sold on Sundays but is yet to do so on introducing seven-day trading to all Perth stores.
Published in the Western Independent October 2010