Fremantle Chamber Supports Extended Trading Hours

Letter to Minister Michael Mischin MLC
Minister for Commerce

Dear Minister,

Christmas Trading Hours

I write seeking that under s12E of the Retail Trading Hours Act 1987, you authorise trading hours in the Perth metropolitan area to be extended so that they are permitted to be open from 8am to 9pm, Saturdays and Sundays for the maximum period from November 30th 2014.

By doing this, you will be creating consistency for both Fremantle traders and our patrons during this period of heavy retail activity, bringing Saturday and Sunday trading in line with Monday to Friday trading hours.

December is the busiest shopping month and Sunday is increasingly becoming the busiest shopping day. However, the current regulations significantly restrict the capacity of retailers and centres to service the market, particularly in the lead-up to Christmas.

This is evidenced by the long queues that regularly form at centres on Sunday mornings before opening. On Sundays during the Christmas shopping period, these queues are even longer and form even earlier.

Not having extended shopping hours in December also adds significant pressure to demand for centre amenities, increasing amenity-related congestion. This includes full car parks, queues at bathroom facilities, traffic jams around retail precincts, mobbed aisles and crammed public transport.

The Economic Regulatory Authority itself noted in its draft report for the inquiry into Microeconomic Reform, that restrictive Sunday trading hours cause unnecessary queuing before the 11am opening, frustrates consumers and increases congestion. As a result, the ERA recommended full deregulation of retail shopping hours through the year.

Though Christmas may seem some time off yet, by authorising this extension in a timely manner, you will enable Fremantle traders to adequately prepare for the Christmas trading period when it comes.

Tim Milsom
Chief Executive Officer
Fremantle Chamber of Commerce

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