Fast Lane: Can’t we all agree on public holiday opening hours?

Fast Lane: Can’t we all agree on public holiday opening hours?

Anzac Day should be a day of solemn remembrance, but conflicting rules and regulations mean the lasting memory for some business owners is one of confusion around opening hours. 

The uncertainty for businesses around whether they are allowed to open or not prompted me to write an article setting out exactly what the opening hours for Anzac Day are in each state and territory.

By the time I had finished researching and writing the article I wasn’t surprised that business owners are perplexed.

I was just as confused myself. 

I discovered there’s restricted trading in Victoria from midnight until 1pm but over in the Australian Capital Territory there aren’t any restrictions at all.

Don’t get me started on South Australia, where your business can open after noon if it is in the central business district tourist precinct or sells hardware, furniture, floor coverings and motor vehicle parts, but other businesses can’t open at all. 

This creates the bizarre situation where you could have two businesses next door to each other, one selling carpets and the other selling lights, where one can legally open and the other can’t. 

Because of these conflicting rules those businesses which do choose to open and put on staff at penalty pay rates are likely to miss out on customers because customers are just as confused as business owners about whether businesses are open or not. 

In 2014 why do we continue to have different rules and regulations in every state and territory about permitted opening hours on Anzac Day?

The birth of Australia as a nation occurred in 1901 but sometimes it seems like federation never happened.

This is a national public holiday; there should be conformity across states and territories.

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