Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (17:21): I rise to discuss the Shop Trading Hours (Extension of Hours) Amendment Bill. Certainly, as country members, essentially we have been in the 21st century for all of it and have extended shop trading hours, but I will talk about that more shortly. We absolutely welcome the proposal to extend shop trading hours on Sunday mornings, opening them at 9am rather than the current 11am, and we also support the proposal to secure Black Friday trading and changes around additional public holidays.
However, we certainly believe that the proposed changes can go even further. As I indicated earlier, we do need to head into the 21st century, and we need shop trading laws that better represent the current expectations of the public to allow bricks-and-mortar shops to compete with the online marketplace while maintaining a balance that supports the sustainability of all businesses in South Australia.
As we understand it on this side, the Labor government have made it clear that they will not be providing exemptions to allow trading on public holidays, as was done by the previous Marshall Liberal government. We should be moving the state forward, not living in the past, which makes things harder for people.
We have also had a period of consultation from this side of the house to better understand what South Australians want and when they want to be able to shop. We are certainly not proposing that shops and supermarkets should be open 24/7 or at 2am, but we do believe that sensible and pragmatic changes can be made to better reflect what the community in South Australia wants.
There is support from the South Australian public in regard to what I will call the urban shop trading hours for shops to close at 6pm rather than 5pm on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We are also proposing to allow shops to trade on select public holidays should they wish, but our public consultation process also made it perfectly clear that people do want to see shops closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, ANZAC Day and Christmas Day, and that is absolutely sensible.
I hear the commentary here today about small business competing with the bigger national supermarket chains. I can certainly speak for the electorate of Hammond and for Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend because we have one supermarket in Tailem Bend, a Foodland, and they have quite extensive opening hours. In fact, Roger Drake brought one of the Woolworths stores to Murray Bridge—Woolworths were running two for a while in Murray Bridge—and they are open from 7.30am to 8pm, seven days a week.
I remember the former member for Florey asking former Premier Marshall a question in this house one day about Drakes and what he thought of extended hours. I was the Government Whip, and I whispered to the Premier, 'They've just bought one in Murray Bridge two weeks ago and opened it up, and that means that you're operating extended hours.'
Foodland at Tailem Bend is a lovely little shop. You can get pretty well everything you need from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week. Woolworths in Murray Bridge: 7am to 9pm, seven days a week. Coles in Murray Bridge: 6am to 10pm. Aldi in Murray Bridge: 8.30am to 7pm. IGA Fresh Westside: 6.30am until 8.30pm on weekdays, 7am on weekends closing at 8.30pm. IGA at Swanport Road: 7am to 9pm on weekdays and on weekends, 7am to 8.30pm. As I indicated, there are seven supermarkets there, with two IGAs and a Foodland competing alongside a Drakes, a Woolworths, a Coles and an Aldi. So for all the doomsday soothsayers who say it cannot be done—it can be done, and it has been done in country areas for over 20 years.
When we as country members come to Adelaide on a weekend for events, or when we need to be here for something else, we have to work out, 'Hang on, I can't just shoot down to the shop. I don't have that freedom to shoot down to a grocery store.' You have to check whether things are open, and sometimes you have to go in search of whether they are open or not.
In this day and age, a lot of workplaces have been deregulated. Shiftwork has been going on for many years in this state—decades. A lot more people are working irregular hours. We have seen a lot of changes with people working from home. People have worked out that they can operate with a level of flexibility. Some of those jobs are more known for people working shiftwork, whether they are firemen, nurses, people in the health sector or a lot of factory sites. They might work two shifts or they might work three shifts. You can get a loaf of bread any time.
You can go to what might be an X Convenience, an AMPM or an On the Run. You could probably live out of one of these service stations, although some people might question the value of the lifestyle. If you needed to you could certainly buy what you needed to get by, because they have quite a range. It is not like the old service station anymore. At Tailem Bend Motorsport Park—I call it Las Vegas because the BP On the Run is out there on its own a bit—I pick up occasional items on the way home to Coomandook if I have been really late and have not been able to get to one of my local stores in Murray Bridge or Tailem Bend.
So it is certainly proven, and these shop trading hours are right across the state in the country. I notice that it is not the same in Millicent, but that is the only place I can recall in the country with a different set-up. I do struggle with why we do not see more reform for better shop trading hours in the urban areas, in the city, so that people have more access. You do have to think about it when you are in the city, when can you pick up these goods and when you cannot. It is such a convenience at home when you are in either Murray Bridge or Tailem Bend.
Other country members mentioned the convenience of being able to shop, and we are not talking about shopping at midnight or 2am or anything like that. You can already do that at tens and tens of service stations, probably hundreds across the state, where you can buy goods 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are certainly not saying that is the reform we are looking for in the broader spectrum, but I think we need to bring some reality and bring the whole state forward.
We have the smaller supermarkets, IGAs. Bruce Maczkowiack has been in Murray Bridge for decades running his shop on Swanport Road, with his son Josh running the one on Westside, and obviously we have Coles and Woolworths. Both Coles and Woolworths had two stores there together for a while, and then Drakes came into one of the Woolworths stores and Coles tightened up their infrastructure and went to one location. It does show that all these people can cohabit with at least five or six 24-hour service stations within the same area of Tailem Bend and Murray Bridge.
We certainly support this reform, we think it should go further and I think we need to bring people into the 21st century.
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