Proserpine main street.
Proserpine main street. Leanne Abernethy

Trading changes welcomed

WHILE the National Retail Association has described changes to Sunday trading as a "return to the dark ages” this is not the Proserpine consensus.

Legislation passed in August banned large supermarkets from opening on Sunday across 21 regional areas, including Proserpine, for at least the next five years.

This means Proserpine Woolworths will remain closed on a Sunday.

Representing large retailers, the National Retail Association criticised the legislation, claiming this meant Sunday trading would be in place across Australia but not in parts of Queensland.

SUPA IGA Proserpine owner Paul Faust said the changes would not have a direct change to their trading hours, but would give small business a chance to get ahead.

"It's a good thing for us because we are just a small business and we trade seven days a week,” he said.

"I know down at (Airlie) Beach they have trading seven days a week but in regional centres it will help the smaller guys survive the tough economic times.”

Mr Faust said he hoped the five-year moratorium period would be extended, but acknowledged "anything could happen” and competition was getting tougher. The new rules also see trading hour restrictions removed from butcher shops.

Whitsunday Regional Councillor and Downtown Butchery owner John Collins said while his business used to operate on a Sunday, the new laws would not see a return.

"(But) if the demand is there for any business that is allowed to do it, they should give it a go,” he said.

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