Legislative Council: Wednesday, November 16, 2022


Shop Trading Hours

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY (15:30): My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector. Will the minister update the council on the first two weekends of extended Sunday trading hours?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:30): I would be most happy to update the honourable member about the first two extraordinarily successful weekends of extended shop trading hours on a Sunday and acknowledge the honourable member's very strong interest in finding the right balance for South Australians, advocating for businesses and unions and workers in South Australia.

As the honourable member pointed out, we have had a couple of weekends now of extended Sunday shop trading in metropolitan South Australia, the Greater Adelaide region. On Sunday 6 November, a significant moment was marked when, after four years of complete inaction, failed ideology and posturing by the former Liberal government, in particular the former Treasurer in this place, the Hon. Rob Lucas, South Australians were finally able to turn up to their local supermarket at 9am on a Sunday to shop for the first time, certainly this century.

This was a reform that could have been delivered years ago. Years ago, it was offered by the then Leader of the Opposition, the now Premier, the Hon. Peter Malinauskas, the member for Croydon, but was rejected by the Liberal Party. They did not wish South Australians to have these extra hours on a Sunday. What the Liberal Party wanted was complete and utter deregulation or nothing, complete ideology to the detriment and harm of families and small businesses in this state or nothing at all. The sensible reforms that have struck the right balance, that have been supported by everyone in this chamber, I must say, except for the Liberal opposition as per usual—

The Hon. H.M. GIROLAMO: Point of order.

The PRESIDENT: I will listen to it.

The Hon. H.M. GIROLAMO: The Attorney is referring to a debate that's happened within this parliament, and it should be noted that we did actually support the bill that went through.

The PRESIDENT: There is no point of order.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: For years, for many years—

The PRESIDENT: Order! There is no point of order. Conclude, because it's a Dorothy.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: To clarify for the honourable member's benefit, for many years the Liberal Party would not support extended shop trading hours. What we saw from the current Liberal Party was an attempt to vandalise the bill. They said that they consulted and moved amendments. They said they consulted in moving amendments, and then it was found out that that consultation I think consisted of maybe one or two business days' worth of consultation in terms of trying to open up, to go further than what was eventually decided.

Let's be honest, we know what the Liberal Party wanted, because they moved it over and over and over again in the last parliament. What they wanted was complete and utter deregulation of shop trading hours. That is what the Liberal Party attempted under Rob Lucas more than one time and was overwhelmingly rejected by this parliament. Not once but twice in the last term of parliament, the Liberal Party, with their ideological bent to absolute deregulation, put it up and was defeated.

As I have said, when it was put up the last couple of times, it wasn't just the Labor Party who were standing up for South Australian small businesses, standing up for finding the balance for families; it was every single member of this chamber except for the Liberal Party in the last parliament. They were the only ones who wanted to go with complete and utter deregulation, so we know what they really want.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: We know what they really want.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: They want complete deregulation, and it would be unparliamentary to reflect on interjections but there are interjections coming from the Liberal side of the chamber saying, 'Give business more hours.' They are just proving the point. They are the party for complete deregulation. I can give you some good reasons—

The PRESIDENT: We are running out of time.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: Thank you, sir. As I've said—

The Hon. S.G. WADE: Point of order: it has been more than four minutes, and there are crossbenchers who have questions. I believe he should be moved on.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! I am well aware of that, the Hon. Mr Wade. Attorney, please conclude your remarks so I can get to the Hon. Ms Game, who is next.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: Thank you, sir. I will be brief, but this is an important area.

The Hon. S.G. Wade interjecting:

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: I can well understand the Hon. Stephen Wade wanting to silence this chamber and the will of the people.

The PRESIDENT: Attorney, come on.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: He doesn't want to hear it.

The Hon. S.G. Wade interjecting:

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: He knows how this has played out, and he knows—

The PRESIDENT: That's enough.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —how unpopular it has been. I can understand—

The PRESIDENT: Attorney!

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —the Hon. Stephen Wade wanting to silence people in this chamber on this matter. It's a good tactic, but it won't work, it just won't work.

The PRESIDENT: Attorney—

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: As I was saying in response to the question—

The PRESIDENT: You've had your time for your Dorothy Dixer.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —just to sum up—

The PRESIDENT: You've got five seconds.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —as the Hon. Russell Wortley asked—

The PRESIDENT: Five seconds.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —the first two weekends have been extraordinarily successful.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: The government has been contacted by independent retailers to say just how well it has been—

The PRESIDENT: Thank you.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —the increase in trade week on week—


The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —that is helping South Australians in business—

The PRESIDENT: Thank you.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —and helping find the right balance.

The PRESIDENT: I think you've made your point.