7 day trade not dead in Bargara

THE quest for seven-day trading in the Bargara area is not over, with an application to reopen the matter filed with the Queensland Industrial Relation Commission last Friday.

The application was made by the National Retailers Association to put new evidence before the tribunal.

“The commission’s judgement mentioned inadequate information dealing with population growth, tourism and confusion on the view of the local government,” National Retailers Association executive director Gary Black said.

“If the commission agrees to reopen the application we will be putting forward more evidence in regard to this.”

Mr Black was unsure how long it would be before the application would be heard.

The association’s original application was rejected just last month after a battle which lasted almost two years.

A successful application would have meant large chains such as Woolworths and Coles would be able to trade all week in Bargara.

Casts Supa IGA Bargara owner Kevin Cast was part of a vocal opposition against the plan.

Mr Cast is on holidays overseas but said through a spokesperson that he was just going to let “whatever happens happen”.

Bundaberg Regional councillor Greg Barnes was called as a witness in the first round of hearings.

“Council has a resolution to support seven-day trading in Bargara which was made last year, and the Coral Coast Chamber of Commerce also has a resolution for seven-day trading,” he said.

“A majority of the people I speak to are in the favour of Sunday trading in Bargara.”

Cr Barnes said if the application was reopened, Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism would have the opportunity to put forward up-to-date figures on the numbers of tourists who visited the area.

But when the seven-day trading application was rejected in July this year, a number of small businesses in the Bargara Shopping Centre were celebrating.

Those businesses feared if seven-day trade was introduced, they would lose customers on their busiest day of trade.

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