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Shoppers to get an early Christmas Bonus

Release Date: 23/12/2014
Changes in operating conditions for retailers in the countdown to Christmas are a positive step, according to the Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC).
The NSW Government has announced the removal of the requirement on retailers in business zones to lodge an application to vary the conditions of their planning consent to allow unrestricted trading hours for the next fortnight.
Debra Murphy CEO said, “Extended trading hours give shoppers the freedom to shop when it is convenient for them and retailers get the freedom to choose when to open without having to make an application to their local council.
“The policy is great for retailers who have to compete with online stores that face no restrictions based on time, and removes red tape.
“Retailing is the largest employer of workers under 45, and the single most important entry point for school leavers into the workforce. Extended Christmas trading hours creates more work and training opportunities for our young people which is so important when the Illawarra youth unemployment rate is almost 17%. 
“The NSW Government’s decision to apply common sense to the highly regulated planning system in relation to the needs of retailers in the crucial two week shopping period sets an important precedent by creating some flexibility in the often highly inflexible planning system.
“Now it’s time for the NSW Government to review the outdated and unproductive Boxing Day Trading rules which see Wollongong and the Illawarra missing out on the biggest shopping day of the year.
“While we welcome extended Christmas trading, it’s important that shopping centres don’t force businesses to extend their hours if it’s not right for their business. The important thing here is choice.

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