Because Boxing Day falls on a Saturday this year, an extra public holiday was gazetted by the Queensland Government on Monday 28 December. For major retailers in regional areas of Queensland, this meant that they could not open their doors for four consecutive days over the Christmas Period – namely December 25, 26, 27 and 28.
Earlier this month, the National Retail Association warned that unless its bid for one-off trading was successful in the Industrial Relations Commission that regional Queenslanders would effectively face a potential four-day lockout from their stores.
According to the NRA’s CEO Trevor Evans, this would have an unfair impact on consumers and retailers who would be unable to engage in post-Christmas shopping until Tuesday the 29th December in those areas. “We always see extreme levels of consumer demand on Christmas Eve and Tuesday, 29 December, with unnecessary delays and inconvenience caused by congestion and difficulties in ensuring the shelves are stocked” he said.
In response to this problem, the NRA launched a special bid in the Commission to allow for one-off trading on Monday 28 December. This week the Commission handed down its decision granting the NRA’s application, allowing for a one-off amendment to the trading-hours legislation.
Mr Evans was delighted with the outcome and said that this will assist in easing the tension around what should be a joyful and stress-free Christmas period.
“It’s also good news for non-food stores and regional shopping centres, who will now be in a better position to cater to consumers who may have otherwise headed to larger town centres for post-Christmas sales,” he said.
If you have any queries or would like to find out more information on trading hours over the Christmas period, please call the NRA Hotline on 1800 RETAIL (738 245).