Legislative Council: Thursday, November 03, 2022


Shop Trading Hours

The Hon. I. PNEVMATIKOS (14:25): My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector, who sits in this chamber. Will the minister update the council on how the Malinauskas government has consulted with the business community on new shop trading hours?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:26): I thank the honourable member for her question. See, that's how you do it: you ask a question about an area that a minister in this chamber has the portfolio responsibility for. That's how you do it. The Hon. Irene Pnevmatikos is showing the opposition exactly how you do it in question time: asking a relevant question to a relevant minister here. I must say I really don't mind—

The PRESIDENT: Attorney, I am watching the clock. You only have a limited time with a Dorothy.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: I was going to provide advice, as I occasionally graciously do, to the opposition to let them know that I don't mind if they want to ask every single question about portfolio responsibilities of ministers in the lower house. But on this occasion a member in this chamber has dared to be different and asked something relevant to a minister in this chamber. I am very pleased to inform the chamber about what the Malinauskas Labor government has been doing, working closely with both employer and employee representatives to roll out the significant reforms to shop trading laws in South Australia.

We knew, when this legislation was proceeding through parliament, we needed to give both businesses and workers as much notice as possible of these changes in the lead-up to the busy retail Christmas period to get rosters and what they need to organise to be done before the Christmas trading period.

That's why we wrote to peak business groups to advise that, once the legislation passed parliament, we intended it to come into effect on 1 November for the first Sunday with that extended 9am starting trading hours to commence on Sunday 6 November. That's precisely what we have done. I look forward to seeing shops opening their doors this Sunday 6 November at 9am.

It's a reform we could have had almost any time in the last term of parliament. In the last parliament, we could have seen the reform instituted when the then opposition leader, now Premier, the member for Croydon, the Hon. Peter Malinauskas, reached out in a bipartisan show of good grace to say we would support, in a bipartisan way, reforms for shops opening at 9am on Sunday. But do you know not happened?

The Hon. E.S. Bourke: What happened?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: The Hon. Rob Lucas happened and stubbornly put ideology over sensible reforms and stood in the way of those extended shop trading hours on a Sunday morning. We have consulted with business groups, we have consulted with unions that represent workers and I'm very proud to say that this Sunday morning, 6 November, will be the first time shops are allowed to open this century at 9am in the morning.