Sun never sets on daylight saving fight

Despite losing a vote on the issue on four seperate occasions, daylight saving supporters say the time is now for another referendum.

Daylight saving is in place in all Eastern States except Queensland.

Effectively, it shifts an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, with advocates saying it gives people more time to be outdoors during the summer months.

WA has had four referendums on the issue – in 1975, 1984, 1992 and 2009, and each time West Australian’s have voted against it.

The 2009 referendum saw 54.56 percent of West Australians voting no.

Photo: Western Independent Facebook Page

Daylight Savings Party co-founder Brett Tucker believes if the referendum was held today the results would be different.

“The number of people now living in the city has significantly increased as a percentage of the state population,” he said.

“We know from voting at the last referendum and our internal research, that people living in the Perth metro region are more likely to support daylight savings”.

Mr Tucker said there are an increasing number of reasons why WA needs daylight saving.

“Perth is growing and has more amenities on offer for residents to enjoy our city after work than ever before, the popular Elizabeth Quay district and a growing number of small bars, to name a few,” he said.

“For businesses that have to deal with the eastern states regularly, a three hour time difference during the summer time is extremely restrictive”.

Former Liberal leader Matt Birney said the outcome would be the same if another referendum was held.

“Daylight saving will not become a reality in WA until country people decide they want it and I can’t see that happening anytime soon,” he said.

“We won the city vote just but it was a landslide against in the country which means we lost by a reasonable margin overall”.

Mr Birney wrote and introduced the legislation for the three year trial prior to the 2009 referendum.

He believes he made a mistake when he wrote the original bill by opting to start and finish at the same time as the eastern states.

“If anyone introduces a bill in the future, they would be wise to finish at the end of January as the very late sunrise days after that were really problematic for WA and February is our hottest month,” he said.

“The long hot days after the end of January mainly hardened people against it”.

Daylight saving was first introduced in Australia during World War I and II, as a way of saving power.

Tasmania was the first to adopt it permanently in 1967.

New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia followed suit in 1972.

Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia still do not have daylight saving.

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