Queensland Premier’s comments mean speculation rife about QLD retail regulations

Comments by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman regarding retail opening hours have led to speculation flying regarding a possible review of regulations.

The long-standing debate has been refreshed, with Newman stating there would have to be a “very strong case made for a change to the current system”.

The Courier-Mail reported that Newman believed in “minimal regulation”, but that he was focused on the “protection and sustainability of small business in the retail sector across our state”.

”We don’t want them to be smashed by the power of the majors, the two major supermarket chains, who have very strong market power,” he said.

The comments come ahead of the Queensland government’s response to the Queensland Competition Authority’s report, said to be due later this month. The reported outlined that retailers in the sunshine state could earn significantly more – up to $200 billion per year – if the restrictions were not in place.

Australian National Retailers Association chief executive officer Margy Osmond told SmartCompany this morning that consumer needs should be taken into account in any review by the government.

“In a modern world, families need the flexibility to shop when they need to and that means more flexible hours,” she says.

“At a time when more and more consumers are making overseas online purchases, it’s also critical that governments make it possible for local retailers to compete by being able to open when consumers want to shop.”

Osmond highlighted the importance of flexible trading hours to the ability for Queensland to profit from tourism.

“We must ensure local retailing remains as attractive and competitive as possible and is able to meet the changing needs of the community,” she said.

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