Small retailers are the big winners in new trading hours laws

Wednesday 23 August, 2017

The changes to trading hours in Queensland passed in State Parliament last night strike the right balance between reducing red tape and allowing smaller retailers to compete with market majors.

After the previous iteration of the Bill was voted down, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) was pleased to see the State Government consult with CCIQ and Master Grocers Australia to arrive at a sensible package of reforms.

CCIQ’s Kate Whittle believes a balance has been struck “CCIQ and our members were delighted that the Bill in its original form was withdrawn from parliament in May. Businesses have been calling for shop trading hours’ reform for a long time, but this never meant full deregulation, which was what the Bill originally proposed.”

‘In that instance we believed that the only winners would be the big retailers and mum and dad, independent businesses would have had their only competitive advantage removed.”

In the intervening period, the Chamber of behalf of its members have negotiated with government, advocating for reforms that preserve a framework that allows small businesses to retain a competitive edge against the major market players.

“On behalf of small independent retailers and business across Queensland, we are delighted that the government has listened to their concerns and compromised. We will always support measures that allow small businesses the opportunity to compete, and the amendments per the trading hours reforms grant a moratorium on no additional trading hours for market majors in regions where this doesn’t currently exist for five years. This is something we called for.”

“What we’ve seen is the Government supporting small businesses who make their profits when bigger supermarkets such as Coles, Woolworths, and Bunnings are closed.

“The previous Bill removed this protection, whereas the new reforms put forward a compromised position that still give smaller retailers the chance to compete. 

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