Barr orders review of trading hours

By 21 January 2008 35

Today’s Canberra Times is reporting that minister for everything Andrew Barr has ordered a review of ACT shopping hours. Apparently Andrew is not impressed with shops opening on Boxing Day and wants to introduce a NSW-style scheme where shops in the city centre open while those in the suburbs remain closed. The future of late night shopping is also on the table.

Trading hours were deregulated in 1997 and shops have tailored their hours to public demand. I like the idea of being able to shop when I want and not have the doors shut in my face at 4PM or 12 noon Saturday as we used to suffer a few years back.

Why has Barr done this? It sounds very much like making work for idle hands during the silly season. The last thing anybody wants is to go back to the bad old days when Joe De Bruyin and the SDA were calling the shots and had governments bowing and scraping at their feet.

As Stan Zemanek used to say “that’s my opinion and I welcome yours”.

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35 Responses to
Barr orders review of trading hours
howdy 12:21 pm
21 Jan 08

Take away from local shops the few days a year that they can make a decent bit of money?

Did someone at his local give him the wrong change or something?

Mr Evil 12:28 pm
21 Jan 08

Maybe the ACT Govt could just introduce an extra tax on shopkeepers for Boxing Day – after all, they like inventing new taxes.

NathanaelB 12:45 pm
21 Jan 08

Let shops do what they want – how can shops staying open late or on public holidays be bad for anyone, unless they’re coercing employees to work non-standard hours outside of any contractual agreement? The extra convenience to the public and customers can only be good … and if you don’t need to shop late at night, what’s it to you? Unless you’re losing sleep knowing that somewhere in Canberra a shop is still open …

Crikey 12:57 pm
21 Jan 08

I agree that the shops should be closed on Boxing Day and I don’t have a problem with Thursday night shopping in place of Friday night. But if Barr is serious he should be looking at regulating the trading hours of our nightclubs.

Mr Waffle 1:02 pm
21 Jan 08

The only review I’d like to see is into bank trading hours- last time I checked, Dickson commbank opens 9:30am-4pm (except Fridays when they bless us with a closing time of 5pm)…

I’ve always been a fan of Asian trading hours- open ~10am and close ~8pm. I’d be a lot more inclined to go to the shops if I didn’t have to knock off early on a workday…

Special G 1:10 pm
21 Jan 08

Why not work on boxing day or christmas or good friday or any other day for that matter. IT should be up to the shop owner.

Kramer 1:43 pm
21 Jan 08

Totally agree Special G! What’s so special about xmas day, boxing day, easter sunday, etc? Sure they are public holidays, but many Australians have no deeply religious connection to these days (except for the start of the boxing day test). So why does the govt feel the need to dictate our lives in this area? If the consumers want it, and the businesses are willing to supply this service then why not??

hingo 1:55 pm
21 Jan 08

Mr Barr obviously doesn’t like doing the groceries after work or on his days off and wants to put a stop to it. What inspires these idiots?

green_frogs_go_pop 1:56 pm
21 Jan 08

i like the fact that on thursday, if canberran’s wanted late night shopping, we could pop over to qbd. and on friday they could pop over we’d get two late night shopping days =)

and pffft, i personally enjoy working on public holidays. get away from family, and get paid about 30 bucks an hour for it! =D

sepi 2:04 pm
21 Jan 08

I don’t see the need for Shopping on Boxing day.

And the young shop assistants probably don’t have a lot of choice in the matter.

Thumper 2:06 pm
21 Jan 08

And the young shop assistants probably don’t have a lot of choice in the matter

Exactly, and same for ANZAC Day.

It’s not hard to plan for one day without shops people.

Mælinar 2:11 pm
21 Jan 08

Maybe he’s just sick of jokes about barrs.

gooterz 2:14 pm
21 Jan 08

Boxing day is alright if you celebrate christmas.. but how many of the non christmas celebrating ppl are going to want to have 2 days where the shops are closed for a non event.

Also thursday night shopping.. is it fair for the kids to have to work thursday night then have school uni on friday? If ur gonna be at school all day then work all half the night it may as well be friday.

Friday gives people a chance to pay off their bills before spending it all on shopping.

hingo 2:18 pm
21 Jan 08

Who cares if the shops are open on public holidays, does it make the holiday any less relevant? On the Melbourne Cup public holiday I went to Magnet Mart and bought pot plants and other gardening supplies. It turned out to be a rather productive day that I would have otherwise probably spent at home drinking beer.

Skidbladnir 2:24 pm
21 Jan 08

I think its a shithouse idea.

Having worked Christmas, Boxing Day, NYE and NY for a few years, there’s terrific money in it (both in terms of pay and store cashflow), and the people who actually do go shopping on those days appreciate that someone is there.

Aurelius 2:27 pm
21 Jan 08

Shops should be able to open whenever they want.
Anyone who thinks otherwise should move to Brisbane – where the supermarkets close on 5pm on weekends.

dmac 2:28 pm
21 Jan 08

pffft, if you can’t survive the shops being closed for two days you probably can’t think and breathe at the same time.

howdy 2:33 pm
21 Jan 08

I’m able to think AND breathe? Now you tell me…

hingo 2:33 pm
21 Jan 08

What is the significance of the shops being closed dmac? What purpose does it serve? If you haven’t noticed, shops are open every other day for our convenience and I don’t see how a public holiday should be treated any differently.

Dante 3:04 pm
21 Jan 08

…and just what has prompted this ‘review’?

Somehow I don’t think that businesses want the hours changed… is there some huge public outcry over trading hours that I haven’t heard about?

And Crikey, the Liquor Board does a good job of mandating unreasonable conditions on nightclubs already, especially when it’s not in their jurisdiction.

If they wanted to modify nightclub trading hours they could.. it hasn’t stopped them in the past.

caf 3:35 pm
21 Jan 08

I think (I’m not completely certain though) that the push for this is coming from small retailers in the big malls that get pressured by mall management to open on Boxing Day.

VYBerlinaV8 3:39 pm
21 Jan 08

“Also thursday night shopping.. is it fair for the kids to have to work thursday night then have school uni on friday? If ur gonna be at school all day then work all half the night it may as well be friday.”

Cry me a river, princess… Plenty of people I know (including myself) studied tough degrees and worked multiple jobs to support themselves.

Shops should be able to open whenever they want, to give us, the consumers, the best possible choice. It’s up to us to decide what, when and where we buy things – why not let the free market compete for that business?

staria 5:52 pm
21 Jan 08

Off topic: The whole “I had to walk 50 miles in the rain/hail/snow/bushfires with nothing but empty tissue boxes on my feet so I could get to my 18 hour job/study/beating” gets kinda tired. Shouldn’t we be trying to improve things?

On topic: personally I think it would suck to have late night shopping move to Thursdays. If I really need to go to the shops that badly that it has to be after work, at least on Fridays there is a sense that it’s the start of the weekend (well, there is for the Mon to Fri-ers anyway). I don’t think I’d go if it were on a Thursday instead…

boomacat 6:07 pm
21 Jan 08

I say let the market dictate when shops open.

Re late night shopping, I prefer Thursday but don’t really care too much.

Why am I posting then? I don’t know.

David MacCormack 6:45 pm
21 Jan 08

Didn’t we go through this crap when Carnell brought in her anti-competitive supermarket opening laws at the behest of her small business mates, and had to give in 12 months later?

You really can’t beat small retailers for whingeing. You wonder who the evil genius is who put a gun to their heads and made them start a business in a competitive industry.

witm 9:30 pm
21 Jan 08

Having been in retail for over five years I thought I’d put my two cents in. Late night shopping seems to work well although foot traffic is incredibly varied. Whilst Mr Barr may legislatively decree days for shops to be closed, his second enemy he will encounter will be the centre managers themselves. Have a look at most standard form rental contracts from Centro or Westfield and you’ll find your trading hours mandated for the good of the centre. My employer would love to close on Boxing Day to spend time with his family and would love to give his employees the same opportunity but he would be fined for doing so. Sure – things like ANZAC Day and Easter have simply become excuses for spending a lot of dosh on advertising and having a ‘sale’ for no other reason than to get people through the door. I deplore this practice but I can’t argue with its financial benefits. I only hope Mr Barr is adopting a public consultation where we can all officially put our views forward instead of writing on RiotACT threads.

Samantha 9:53 pm
21 Jan 08

I am also retail worker and am glad the issue has been raised. there should be an open public debate about the best late night shopping night and whether the shops should open on Boxing Day.

Barr has ruled out the return of government regulated shopping hours according to the canberra times and the abc – so that isn’t an issue.

The issue is Thursday or Friday for late night and whether the retailers start the X-mas sales on the 26th or 27th. my two cents worth – thursday and the 27th. 2 days over xhristmas without the shops won’t kill us and will give staff a bit of a break.

barking toad 9:59 pm
21 Jan 08

Perhaps Andy bought a pillow on Boxing Day that didn’t taste right.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 10:33 pm
21 Jan 08


ant 12:07 am
22 Jan 08

Cruel! Evil, and cruel.

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