22 May, 2017
“Over the coming days the Queensland Government will be presenting a Bill to the parliament for debate to further liberalise trading hours in Queensland.” “This is despite any consideration for the impact of this sudden change on the viability of family owned and privately run independent retailers,” according to MGA Independent Retailers.
Jos de Bruin, CEO of MGA said, “Small businesses have planned their investment in their business around being able to trade, without the overarching power of big businesses encroaching on a small window of opportunity they have to realise profits at either end of each trading day, on Saturday evenings and on Sundays”.
He continued, ‘But the Palaszczuck Government has once again ignored the needs of small businesses. This is just another step in the radical trading hours’ changes promised by a Government determined to promote the interests of big businesses in Queensland, over the desperate needs of smaller businesses who are struggling to survive in the retail industry. The Government has already chosen, by promising to overhaul trading hours, to ignore the cries of small businesses who serve the community, provide jobs and who have for years contributed to the economic well-being of Queensland.”
Small retailers last year lost their fight in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission against the growing power of the chains in South East Queensland. This decision has forced many independent retail businesses to assess their commercial viability and employment levels as this move did not create additional jobs and sales growth but instead supplanted sales from the Queensland independent retail sector to the large dominant chains.
Mr. de Bruin said, “We ask the State Government is this really fair to a massive group of hard working, small business Queenslanders? Are there really going to be thousands of jobs created by allowing big businesses to trade even more hours than consumers have said they want? We don’t think so. But one thing is certain and that is that small retailers will suffer heavy financial losses and the big chains win again. We ask the Queensland Government to re-think its position and consider the thousands of small businesses that struggle for survival on a day to day basis”.