Editorial: the wicked problem of Daylight Saving Time

You probably don’t need me to tell you the year is flying by. We are already into the double figures in days in September and the weather is warming quickly.

Fire watches are in place and with the equinox coming up it won’t be long before we get the first 40 degree day of the season. If that wasn’t depressing enough, it is barely 100 days to Christmas!

Perhaps most depressing of all, it means it is that time of year when talk to turns to the clock, particularly the vexed matter of Queensland and daylight saving. It is a difficult problem to solve to make everyone happy.

I am sympathetic to the plight of south-east Queenslanders having lived in Brisbane for many years and its far easterly aspect makes it particularly unsuitable for eastern standard time especially in summer when it gets bright around 4am but frustratingly gets dark before 7pm.

There is also the issue of differing times across the street with Gold Coast and Tweed Heads effectively just one combined city albeit in two different jurisdictions.

The south-east calls to go with NSW and introduce daylight saving are real and based on genuine problems and those of us in other parts of the state do them a disservice when we dismiss those concerns.

But the same is true for the opposite side of the argument. 

Particularly in the far west where we have de facto daylight saving anyway due to our geography there is no desire to move another hour forward with all of the dark morning issues that will entail.

Unfortunately neither side of the argument is much interested in the problems of the other side so we have a testy debate that never moves anywhere.

I feel a two-timezone solution for Queensland is inevitable though as I’ve said before re a possible separate state, drawing the new time boundary will be fiendishly difficult.

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DST or no DST I’m now heading away on Brisbane on one of my periodic “detox” breaks. Not that Mount Isa or the region is toxic, far from it – I’d call it intoxicating! – but I do work hard and find it hard to switch off when I’m around the region, so this is a badly-needed enforced break. See you all next Tuesday – Derek Barry