Anzac Day confusion: Opening hours for the 2014 public holiday

Is your business open or closed on Anzac Day? Not sure? Well you’re not the only one. 

With Anzac Day falling after the Easter holidays this year there is even more confusion than usual for businesses about trading hours.

As always, each state and territory recognises Anzac Day as a public holiday. But the problem is that there are different rules depending on each jurisdiction.

Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, said confusion is common for business owners when it comes to organising rosters around public holidays and trading hours.

“Given the fact that all states and territories have quite different restrictions when it comes to public holiday trade, it’s important for retailers to do their research and ensure they understand their legal obligations during this time,” Zimmerman said in a statement.

 We’ve compiled a list of all the relevant regulations to help you get up to speed.


Anzac Day is a restricted trading day in Victoria, from midnight to 1pm. After that, businesses may open as long as they aren’t specifically forbidden from doing so.

The state allows “exempt shops” to trade, which are businesses with 20 or fewer persons employed, or a business with no more than 100 workers at any one time in the seven days prior to Anzac Day.

Certain shops can open whenever they like, such as chemists, petrol stations and cafes.

New South Wales

Just like Victoria, businesses cannot open until 1pm. There is a list of exempt shops which are allowed to open prior to this which includes bookshops, chemists, newsagencies, petrol stations and convenience stores. 

Businesses in exempt areas are also allowed to open for the morning. 


Business cannot open until 12.30pm. 

However, businesses such as service stations, pharmacies and newsagents, are able to trade.

Other exempt businesses include those not part of a shopping centre, or mall, where the number of employees having worked there in any day during the previous March did not exceed 10.


Anzac Day is a normal trading day in the ACT but many businesses choose to respect the tradition of keeping shops closed until 1pm.

South Australia

Businesses in the central business district tourist precinct and hardware, furniture, floor coverings and motor vehicle parts businesses cannot open until noon. But if a non-exempt store is in the Greater Adelaide shopping district it cannot trade at all for the day. 

Exempt businesses include service stations, restaurants, cafes, real estate auctions, and night clubs or hotels where the main business is selling alcohol.


In Queensland, businesses cannot open until 1pm, unless they are predominantly food and/or grocery stores.

There are plenty of exempt stores including companies involved in printing, publishing and distributing newspapers, utility companies, mining businesses, supplying milk, bakeries, cafes and takeaway food kitchens.

There are also exempt areas with businesses closed in the morning in South East Queensland, New Farm, Yeppoon Tourist Area, Townsville (excluding the CBD and North Ward), Tourist and Seaside resorts, Great Barrier Reef Wonderland, Cairns Tourist Area, Port Douglas Tourist Area and Mossman, Whitsunday Shire Tourist Area, Hervey Bay Area, Townsville CBD (including North Ward), Toowoomba, Mackay, Innisfail, Atherton, Mareeba, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Emerald, Moranbah, Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie and Biloela.

Supermarkets are closed on the Gold Coast, Cairns CBD and Port Douglas.

Northern Territory

Trading hours are also ambiguous in the Northern Territory. Businesses are able to open on Anzac Day if they choose, but like the ACT, many businesses tend to open after 1pm as a sign of respect.

Western Australia

Anzac Day is classified as a restricted trading day, so general retail businesses must remain closed the entire day.

But businesses which are small shops are allowed to open. As are businesses classified as “special retail shops”, which can open from 6am to 11.30pm. These businesses include pharmacies, garden nurseries, hardware and home improvement businesses, newsagencies and bookshops, boating shops, shops at sporting venues and shops at international standard hotels.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SmartCompany Plus

Sign in

To connect a sign in method the email must match the one on your SmartCompany Plus account.
Or use your email
Forgot your password?

Want some assistance?

Contact us on: or call the hotline: +61 (03) 8623 9900.