FAIR GO: Takalvans owner Dale Rethamel is relieved the government will exempt the caravan industry from Sunday trade under new reforms.
FAIR GO: Takalvans owner Dale Rethamel is relieved the government will exempt the caravan industry from Sunday trade under new reforms. Jim Alouat

New trading laws a big win for small retailers

TAKALVANS owner Dale Rethamel is delighted after new trading laws were passed in parliament allowing motor vehicle and caravan retailers to retain their existing trading hour arrangements.

The Queensland Government estimates the changes, passed on Tuesday night, could create 1000 new jobs across the state.

Initially, it appeared as though caravan and car dealers would have to trade on Sundays but after extensive consultation from the industry, the government backflipped.

"It is a massive win for small, family-owned businesses,” Mr Rethamel said.

"I was really concerned because personally, we have qualified staff here, and to try and deliver high quality service, seven days a week...”

"We would have put a lot of strain on our staff.”

The Master Grocers Association says the bill is a win for small retailers but concessions made in the bill were met with anger by the National Retail Association, which represents large supermarkets and department stores.

Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson said there was only a modest extension to trading hours for large, non-exempt shops such as Coles and Woolies in the Bundaberg area - one extra hour on Saturday evening from 5-6pm.

"The government has listened to the concerns of small business who were worried about the impact of giving Coles and Woolies an extra trading hour in the morning from 7am,” she said.

In response, the bill was amended to maintain the current opening time of 8am.

But Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said Labor's laws were poorly drafted and would have led to price hikes for Bundaberg and Burnett shoppers, less job security and less opportunities for young people to get a job if the LNP had not intervened.

"I was proud to stand up for small business in the Bundaberg and Burnett region and their employees to ensure they received a better deal under Labor's proposed trading hour changes,” Mr Bennett said yesterday.

THE FINE PRINT

  • All hardware stores can open from 6am, 7 days a week
  • Outside the south-east, trading hours for non-exempt shops are Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm, Saturday 8am to 6pm, Sunday and most public holidays 9am to 6pm
  • Public holidays treated as closed days for all non-exempt shops across Queensland are Good Friday, Anzac Day, Labour Day and Christmas Day
  • Trading hour restrictions for butcher shops, special exhibitions and trade shows are removed


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