You can forget about doing your grocery shopping on Sunday for the next five years in the North West after new Queensland trading laws were passed overnight.
The key reforms to the Trading (Allowable Hours) Amendment Bill 2017 affecting our region are, trading hours for non-exempt shops such as hardware shops are Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm, Saturday 8am to 6pm, Sunday and most public holidays 9am to 6pm.
However regional towns such as Mount Isa that do not currently have Sunday and public holiday trading for non-exempt shops remain that way.
The government has imposed a five year moratorium on further trading hours’ applications to extend the allowable trading hours for non-exempt shops with a review at the end of the moratorium period.
The news will be a bitter disappointment to local groups which called for extended trading hours including Sunday in Mount Isa while an opinion poll conducted by the North West Star found three in every four people supported Sunday trading.
However trading hours’ restrictions for butcher shops, special exhibitions and trade shows have been removed and all hardware stores can open from 6am, 7 days a week.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the changes addressed anomalies holding back retail trade.
“Retail trading hours reform is long overdue in Queensland – it’s been holding back job creation and economic growth for two decades,” she said.
“Less restrictive trading hours’ regulation means shoppers will enjoy more choice, flexibility and convenience.
Protections for retail workers make it an offence for an employer to require an employee to work the extended trading hours unless the employee has freely elected to do so.
Speaking to ABC radio on Wednesday Robbie Katter, who is against Sunday trading, called the new laws a compromise but felt that changes were inevitable.