A state-by-state guide to trading hours for ANZAC Day 2019

Anzac Day

The Anzac Day poppy installation from April5 and Cunard in 2015.

This Thursday is ANZAC Day, a public holiday for most workers and a day off for some business owners. However, for businesses on the smaller end of town, trading hours can get mighty confusing as each state and territory takes a different approach.

If you’re confused about when your business can open, or if it can even open at all, we’ve made a quick state-by-state guide.

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Stores in Victoria are only permitted to trade after 1pm on ANZAC Day unless the store falls into one of Victoria’s ‘exempt store’ categories.

Luckily, a number of SMEs are likely to fall into the exempt category, as the state classifies exempt stores as having 20 or fewer employees working at any one time during the restricted trading day and one that has no more than 100 employees working at any time in the seven days prior to Anzac Day.

Basically, this means the majority of small retail stores are able to operate on ANZAC Day. Additionally, chemists, petrol shops, restaurants, cafes, takeaway outlets, service providers and hire outlets are able to trade unrestricted on ANZAC Day.

However, for anyone considering a late night movie or concert the night before, keep in mind all cinemas and entertainment venues are required to shut down by 12am on ANZAC Day.

New South Wales

New South Wales follows the same law as Victoria, with businesses not permitted to trade prior to 1pm. The state’s exemption for small business is much stricter, however, with the state’s Retail Trading Act stipulating the business must not have more than four employees working on the day, and with no more than two owners who share in the shop’s profits.

Businesses who hold hotel or bar licences are permitted to trade, however, and there are also a number of exempted local government areas.


Businesses in Queensland must fall into one of two categories if they wish to trade on ANZAC Day: exempt shops or independent shops.

Exempt shops include a large list, which can be found on the Queensland government’s website, but includes retailers such as butchers, florists, fruit and veg sellers and soap shops. These shops can trade all day.

Independent shops are categorised as being run by an individual, partnership or a proprietary company, as having no more than 30 employees engaged in the store at any one time, having no more than 100 employees engaged across Queensland at any one time, and the business not being conducted within a non-exempt shop.

Independent shops must remain closed prior to 1pm.

If your business doesn’t fit in either category, too bad, you’ll have to stay closed.


Businesses in the ACT can open all day on ANZAC Day. Go wild (though many stores choose to remain closed prior to 1pm).

Northern Territory

See above, businesses can stay open all day in the NT.

Western Australia

To trade on ANZAC Day in WA, your business has to fall into an exempt category. To be exempt, your business must have a certificate deeming it as a small or special retail shop, which is generally one considered necessary for emergency, convenience or recreation goods.

These include stores such as pharmacies, newsagents, duty-free shops and arts-and-crafts stores.

Other automatically exempt businesses include restaurants, cafes, petrol stations and takeaway-food shops.


Businesses in Tassie may not open before 12.30pm on ANZAC Day. However, you guessed it, there are some exemptions.

These include pharmacies, newsagents, bottle shops, cafes and restaurants, service stations, car yards and real estate agents. Shops that are are part of a large shopping complex and employed fewer than 10 employees in the month of March are also exempt.

Businesses can also apply for an exemption from the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs.

South Australia

Unlike many other states and territories, South Australia’s trading hours for retail stores on ANZAC Day is based on what region the store operates in. Non-exempt stores may trade between 12pm to 5pm if they operate within the CBD Tourist Precinct, otherwise, they may not trade.

Exempt stores may open from 12pm on ANZAC Day. Exempt stores in SA are ones not located in the Greater Adelaide Shopping District or in Binnum, Grace, or Millicent, but if your business is located in those districts, it may trade if the business’ retail floor area is less than 200m².

The state also has a number of default exempt stores, which may trade unrestricted, which includes cafes, service stations, hairdressers, and tobacconists. See the full list here.

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