Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Retailers urge ALP and cross-bench to support NSW Boxing Day reform

Legislation introduced to NSW Parliament this week to reform Boxing Day trading rules needs to be passed swiftly if communities across the state are to benefit from more convenience and choice as well as greater employment opportunities this Boxing Day, says Retail Council CEO Anna McPhee.

“The Government’s action to deliver an election commitment, by introducing legislation to reform Boxing Day trading across NSW, shows the Government has listened to the community wanting greater choice and businesses wanting to grow the economy and create jobs, particularly in western Sydney and regional areas like the Illawarra and Hunter currently disadvantaged,” she said.

“We call on the Labor Party and cross-bench to support reform that would deliver positive economic and employment outcomes and put an end to the imbalance and antiquated rules that disadvantage communities, add to the cost of doing business and don’t serve a modern economy.

“The effect of current Boxing Day trading restrictions prevents popular shopping spots like Westfield Parramatta and Miranda, Castle Towers and regional centres such as Wollongong and Newcastle from opening, while stores in the [Sydney] CBD and Bondi Junction are open and thriving with retail activity.

“The patchwork of Boxing Day trading hours limits employment opportunities, disadvantages consumers and increases the cost of doing business.”

Retail Council member and David Jones NSW Regional Manager Stephanie Trevor said: “We welcome Boxing Day trading hour reform as a win-win for everyone – benefiting customers, staff and retailers.

“Our suburban stores throughout Melbourne and Brisbane trade successfully on Boxing Day, so we know many of our customers will choose to shop locally if given the option.”

Ms McPhee added: “Achieving much-talked-about reform will be a step forward to remove red tape and encourage further employment, investment and growth in NSW.”

Customer activity accounts for eight per cent of the NSW economy (or $40 billion annually) and is growing, with retail sales the strongest over the past year among all states and territories. To serve increasing consumer demand, the sector employs more than 376,400 (accounting for 10 per cent of state jobs).

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