Review of Queensland’s Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 – Recommendations

In late 2016, an independent reference group reviewed Queensland’s shop trading hours. The group considered 179 submissions from businesses, consumers, workers and other community representatives.

The review report makes 13 recommendations for trading hours’ reform. The State Government has responded to the recommendations and will broaden and simplify Queensland’s allowable trading hours while protecting retail workers.

The following information provides a summary of each recommendation, and in some cases, clarification of the current situation or how Government intends to amend trading hours’ legislation in response to the recommendation.

Recommendation 1

All non-exempt shops in the south-east Queensland area may open:

  • 7am – 9pm Monday to Saturday; and
  • 9am – 6pm Sundays and most public holidays.

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 2

All non-exempt shops in areas outside south-east Queensland may open:

  • 7am – 9pm Monday to Friday;
  • 7am – 6pm Saturday; and
  • 9am – 6pm Sundays and most public holidays.

Adopted subject to:

Cabinet has decided that trading hours for Sunday and public holidays in regional Queensland not be extended to those areas that currently do not have Sunday and public holiday trading. Industrial organisations and any other organisation including local governments may make application to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to opt-in to those provisions.

Most major regional towns along the coast are covered by seven day trading hours’ orders and already have Sunday trading.

The 23 major towns without Sunday/public holiday trading are Mt Isa, Warwick, Goondiwindi, Chinchilla, Kingaroy, Stanthorpe, Roma, Childers, Blackwater, Bowen, Ayr, Charters Towers, Proserpine, Mission Beach, Cloncurry, Weipa, Nanango, Oakey, Home Hill, Pittsworth, Blackwater, Charleville, and Longreach.

Recommendation 3

In special and tourist areas (i.e. the following areas as currently defined in the trading hours’ orders – New Farm, Hamilton North Shore, supermarkets in Gold Coast Coastal Tourist Area and Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef Wonderland Tourist Complex) non-exempt shops may open:

  • 6am – 10pm Monday to Friday;
  • 7am – 10pm Saturday; and
  • 7am – 9pm Sunday and most public holidays.

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 4

In all areas of the State hardware and builders’ material supply non-exempt shops (as currently defined in the trading hours’ orders) may open from 6am Monday to Sunday and most public holidays with a closing time the same as other non-exempt shops in their area.

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 5

The public holidays on which all non-exempt shops must be closed (closed days) are to be the same in all areas of Queensland. These are Good Friday, ANZAC Day, Labour Day and Christmas Day.

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 6

Extended trading will apply in the period prior to Christmas Day by allowing non-exempt shops in all areas of the state to open:

  • 8am – 6pm on the three Sundays prior to 18 December each year, and
  • until midnight Monday-Sunday in the period from 18-23 December.

All non-exempt shops to be closed from 6pm on 24 December.

The 24-hour shopping arrangements currently in place for Westfield Chermside and Garden City will continue.

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 7          

The trading hours for non-exempt shops selling motor vehicles or caravans are to be the same as for all other non-exempt shops in Queensland.

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 8

Legislative protections are to be provided to workers which will ensure that agreement to work on any of the new extended hours is to be voluntary.

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 9

A five-year moratorium on further trading hours’ applications to amend the allowable trading hours for non-exempt shops with a commitment to further review prior to the end of the moratorium period.

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 10

The following shops are to be included in the list of exempt shops (meaning they can trade without any restrictions):

  • special exhibitions, trade shows;
  • shops in international airports, cruise terminals, casinos, tourist resorts on offshore islands;
  • butcher shops;
  • shops operating within a designated area around and during international special events (e.g. Commonwealth Games) and for local festivals. An application for special event or local festival status and the designated area will be made to the QIRC for determination; and
  • shops in the Mossman and Port Douglas Tourist area to be exempt for a trial period of five years.

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 11

The categories of independent retail and exempt shops are to be amalgamated into a single category of exempt shop. Current trading hours’ restrictions for independent retail shops on Good Friday, Christmas Day, and to 1pm on ANZAC Day are to remain (other than those selling groceries and fresh food).

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 12

The number of persons that may be engaged at an independent retail shop or shops at any one time is to be increased from 20 to 30 in any one shop, and where a number of related retail shops are operated, increased from 60 to 100 overall.

Adopted in full.

Recommendation 13

The QIRC will continue to adjudicate allowable trading hours outside the legislated spread of hours for non-exempt shops. However, this power is suspended during the period of the proposed moratorium.

Adopted in full.

Last updated: 20 April 2017