Wait for 7-day trade result

BARGARA shoppers will have to wait until early next year to find out if seven-day trading will be allowed across the board at the coastal community after a hearing in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission on Monday.

National Retailers Association director of corporate affairs Jed Moore said final submissions are set to be made on Friday with the final decision not expected until some time in the first quarter of the new year.

“We are quite hopeful that the application will be approved and we have had the support of the local council and the local chamber of commerce,” he said.

Bundaberg Regional councillor Greg Barnes, who spoke at the hearing in his capacity as Coral Coast Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and chair of Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism, said he hoped common sense prevailed.

“Allowing Sunday trading will also provide equity in the marketplace and give traders the flexibility to either open or to close their businesses according to their individual circumstances and those of their customers,” Mr Barnes said.

Cast’s Supa IGA Bargara owner Kevin Cast said he was “deflated and disappointed” after the hearing.

“This appears to be the only council that seems to be supporting the change where money leaves the town,” he said.

The IGA currently is allowed to open on Sunday but was worried what would happen to smaller businesses.

“I think the council is naive in their approach; they never consulted any business, they certainly never consulted me and they have not considered seven-day trading will be applied for in Bundaberg next,” he said.

Woolworths spokesman Luke Schenpen said they did not want to speculate on the outcome of the proceedings.

“We’re looking to trade seven-days a week in response to customer demand. Customers have indicted that seven day trade would be beneficial and convenient,” he said.

“It would also provide the opportunity for our staff to pick up extra hours and more hours for casual staff such as students looking for experience.”

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