Shopping Centre Council may launch legal challenge to WA retail trading laws

The Shopping Centre Council of Australia may launch a landmark court challenge to Western Australia’s “archaic” retail trading laws.

The Shopping Centre Council of Australia may launch a landmark court challenge to Western Australia’s “archaic” retail trading laws.

According to PerthNow, which broke the story exclusively, the SCCA is seeking legal advice and is prepared to launch court action saying the Sunday trading rules were discriminatory. Only certain shops can trade in specific areas on Sundays – the majority are barred from opening.

Milton Cockburn, SCCA executive director, told PerthNow shopping centre bosses would take the matter to court because centre owners and their tenants were missing out on millions of dollars in trade because of the archaic laws.

“Given the fact that it looks like the Parliamentary option (of introducing Sunday trading) is closed, we are now exploring our legal options,” Cockburn says. “The reality is that Perth is the only capital city in Australia where shops can’t open on Sundays.

“We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars being invested by shop owners and their tenants. But they can only trade six days a week. It just doesn’t make economic sense.”

Joe Lenzo, the WA division boss of the Property Council of Australia, said Perth was a laughing stock throughout the nation and overseas because of its refusal to allow shops to open on Sundays.

“Why should consumers be penalised and why should people who make heavy capital investments in this state not be allowed to maximise their investments?” Lenzo says.

“It is farcical that the centre of Perth and Fremantle have Sunday trading, as well as regional centres, (but) other parts of Perth don’t.”

Inside Retailing

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