Sunday shopping: Perth stores given permission to open
02/07/2012 - Perth shoppers will finally be able open their purses and wallets in line with other capitals when Sunday trading comes into effect across the city on August 26.
While Western Australia's Liberal Party has flagged deregulated shopping hours since it came to power in 2008, it had been blocked by its Nationals coalition partner and, until recently, by the Labor opposition.
A change of heart by new Labor leader Mark McGowan has allowed the government to pass new laws enabling all stores in Perth's metropolitan area to open from 11am-5pm on Sundays.
At the moment, only small retailers and larger shops in the state's north, some tourist towns and special precincts in inner-city Perth are allowed to open on Sundays.
Opponents of WA's draconian trading-hours laws have argued deregulation would disadvantage smaller retailers, which are able to open for extended hours, unlike larger supermarkets.
Commerce minister Simon O'Brien told reporters on Sunday the new laws were about introducing a "level playing field" for all retailers.
"It's not fair that we should use the laws to advantage some participants over others," he said.
Premier Colin Barnett said the new laws would be a "major boost for the retail industry".
"Retail's been going through a fairly tough time right across Australia," he said.
"Sunday will very quickly become the major shopping day of the week.
"It will also mean hundreds of extra jobs in the retail industry."
Despite a 2005 referendum rejecting weeknight and Sunday trading, gradual deregulation over the past two years, with the introduction of extended weeknight shopping and special Sunday trading precincts, has proved popular as Perth continues to attract workers from the eastern states and overseas.
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