It’s time to bring on daylight saving
TWO-THIRDS of people living in southeast Queensland want to see daylight saving introduced across the state.
An exclusive YouGov Galaxy poll for The Courier-Mail shows 55 per cent of Queenslanders back the change, with only 41 per cent opposed.
That is a reversal of the result at the last referendum on the issue more than a quarter of a century ago, when people voted 54.5 per cent to 45.5 per cent not to join the rest of the eastern seaboard states in putting the clocks forward an hour each summer.
The new poll result will put more pressure on the Palaszczuk Government to revisit the issue - and possibly put it to a public vote - with business and tourism leaders already pushing for change.
It is time for daylight saving to be introduced in Queensland?
This poll ended on 31 August 2018.
Yes, would love it
No, would hate it
Yes, but only in south-east Queensland
Only after a full public vote
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"There has been a definite shift, certainly since the referendum," said YouGov Galaxy managing director David Briggs.
Those in support of daylight saving have also risen from 51 per cent since his firm last polled in 2007. But it remains a divisive issue, particularly between southeast Queensland and the rest of the state.
While 66 per cent of those in SEQ want change, with 31 per cent against, the results are reversed outside the region - 33 per cent for, 62 per cent against.
Mr Briggs said it was likely high levels of interstate migration to Queensland had helped change attitudes and would continue to do so.
Australian Industry Group Queensland head Shane Rodgers said: "The survey results confirm what we suspected. Daylight saving is now supported by the majority of Queenslanders and the vast majority of businesses in the state.
"We have the unusual situation where both side of politics are now out of step with the majority opinion of the state and those who provide jobs for Queenslanders.
"We need to get this issue back onto the policy agenda for a proper debate.
"And we need to start looking at how we can mitigate the concerns in the regions so we don't stifle investment, jobs and tourism opportunities in the southeast by staying out of step with the major economic centres."
AI Group has written to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington seeking a fresh assessment of the costs of not aligning Queensland time with New South Wales and Victoria from October to April each year.
It followed the organisation's own survey showing 85 per cent of businesses, in and outside Queensland, favouring change, with companies discouraged from investing and more staff here.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said: "Our view is that having different time zones is not helpful to the tourism industry. It's at least worthy of a discussion.
"Western Queensland has its own perspective because there is a genuine difference with sunlight hours, but it really makes no sense that there are different time zones on the east coast simply because of a state border."
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland head of industry Dan Petrie said: "The reality is that we are part of an integrated national economy.
"The need to have one harmonised time zone is preferable. Given the unlikelihood of NSW and Victoria abandoning Daylight Saving, the time for Queensland to have a fresh discussion about joining them is long overdue."
Tom Tate, Mayor of Gold Coast, said it was high time another vote was held to bring Queensland in line with the rest of the eastern seaboard.
Greater Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce president Hillary Jacobs said she would like to see daylight saving adopted on the Coast.
"It would be easier to do business with the eastern state capitals," she said.
Tweed Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary Peter Sibilant said the Twin Towns had learned to exist with the two time zones.
"It's a tricky one, but I think most people here have adapted to it," he said.
The YouGov Galaxy poll, of 839 voters weighted and projected to reflect the Queensland population, shows most are united in opposing the idea of splitting the state into two time zones. Only 43 per cent of people statewide supported the idea, with 49 per cent against.
Galaxy polls showed support for daylight saving at 52 per cent in 2005, 51 per cent in 2007 and 48 per cent in 2011.
A ReachTEL survey of 1177 residents north of Rockhampton, conducted for The Sunday Mail in 2016, found 67.5 per cent were against daylight saving.
SUN SETS SLOWLY OUT WEST
LIT up by the bright western sun, country Queensland already has daylight saving every day of the year.
When the sun goes down in Brisbane, Birdsville mum Prue Morton is still facing another 53 minutes of sunshine in which she has to wrestle her kids to bed.
Turning the clock forward an hour every summer would only make things harder, morning and night, for kids Emily, 7, Cameron, 4, and their dad Kerry, who has to help wrangle them.
"From my experience visiting New South Wales, it is hard to switch the kids around," she said. "Even without daylight saving, in summer the sun is setting at 7.30pm.
"I get 'why do I have to go to bed - the sun's still out'."
The other end of the day starts later too, making it harder to shake the kids out of bed. "Cameron's opinion is he shouldn't have to be up if the sun's not up, and he's four ...
"I understand where the city comes from, trying to line up with Sydney and Melbourne, but being further out west, we pretty much already have daylight saving.
"I don't think people realise some areas are an hour later out here."