Legislative Council: Thursday, October 20, 2022


Shop Trading Hours

The Hon. R.B. MARTIN (14:51): My question is for the Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector. Can the minister please outline the different approaches that have been taken regarding shop trading hours reform in recent years?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:51): I thank the honourable member for his exceptionally important question and his longstanding interest in this matter. I am at the outset very pleased that we are seeing, and I believe debate has concluded in the other place in relation to what will be the biggest changes in years and, in fact, I think the biggest changes this century to shop trading hours laws.

The honourable member asked: can I outline the differences that we have seen over recent years? I think I can. I think I can outline the Liberal Party's views and approaches to shop trading hours as ideological zealotry compared to sensible, consultative reform. What we saw under the last term of government were attempts at absolute and complete deregulation of shop trading hours. We saw that in the face of South Australia having the enviable place of the highest penetration of independent grocery retailers in the country.

We see in South Australia family-owned South Australian businesses like Foodlands and IGAs holding something like a third of the market for supermarkets in South Australia compared to single digits in other states—three to four times the amount of locally-owned businesses, compared to those national supermarket chains, that provide local jobs for South Australians, not just in the retail sector but importantly those supermarket chains, as we have canvassed in here before, stocking much greater percentages of South Australian-made and innovated food products and other products.

What we are seeing now in South Australia, as I said at the outset, are the most significant changes in shop trading hours this century. We have seen a different approach, that zealous, ideological, must completely deregulate and decimate South Australian business approach, attempted by the Liberal Party. We have seen from amendments that were moved in both chambers that the Liberal Party haven't changed their stripes. They are still keen for deregulation without consultation that goes much, much further. That's what we have seen, as opposed—

Members interjecting:

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: Do you know what? It failed dismally—

Members interjecting:


The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —which could be the motto of the South Australian Liberal Party: failed dismally.

Members interjecting:


The Hon. K.J. MAHER: Numerous attempts at this ideological overreach failed dismally time and time again. What we have seen over four years of government is that ideological pushing of complete and utter deregulation no matter what the cost to South Australian jobs fail dismally.

What we have seen in about seven months of the Labor government is the most significant reforms this century—the most significant reforms this century—in shop trading hours. We are seeing extra time on Sunday for shop trading hours. We are seeing the legislative ability for shops, except for the bigger supermarkets, to open on Boxing Day. We are seeing legislatively protected those three days before Christmas shopping until midnight—the weekdays before Christmas—and of course Black Friday shopping in November.

I am proud to be part of a government that stands in stark contrast to the dismal failure of the Liberal government, which could not get any reform whatsoever, to be part of the government that has already delivered in short time the biggest reforms we have seen this century in shop trading hours.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! Minister Scriven, order!