Retail Trading Hours - Community Consultation Now Open

Published on Thursday, 19 October 2023 at 11:07:00 AM

Council, Shire staff, local businesses and the Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry, go through an involved process each year to extend retail trading hours over the summer and Easter holiday periods.

To streamline this process and provide certainty for all retailers and the wider community, Council wants to know what you think about permanent changes to retail trading hours during these holiday times.

We'll be asking you - Is there a need to change the current retail trading hours?

Here are a few important things to understand:

  • Retailers identified as ‘Small Retail Shops’ can already trade 24 hours a day, every day of the year provided they have applied for a certificate (further details available at Consumer Protection WA).
  • Any changes would therefore only apply to Small Shops that haven’t applied for a certificate, or larger businesses that are ineligible for the ‘Small Retail Shop’ category. With 98% of businesses in Esperance being designated as small businesses, there is only a small percentage of retailers that would have their operating hours limited by their size.

The Esperance district retail trading hours were last reviewed in 2014. After public consultation the following permanent changes were made to trading hours in the lead-up to Christmas each year:

  • Altered trading hours commence on the second Sunday of December each year.
  • Altered trading hours end on the day prior to Christmas Eve each year.
  • Altered trading hours include extending all Friday trading hours to 9pm within this period
  • Altered trading hours include extending trading to all Sundays within this period to between 10am and 4pm
  • Altered trading hours include extending all weeknight trading hours between the last Sunday before Christmas Day and the day prior to Christmas Eve (if any) to 9pm.

To date, these hours have seemed to meet the needs of local retailers and the community. However, with tourist numbers increasing and the local tourism industry growing and evolving, additional one-off extensions have occurred each year since 2020.

The Shire always looks for ways to help local businesses, through advocacy to other levels of government, responding to community demand to prioritise tourism industry needs, providing land for industrial development at Shark Lake, or liaising with local businesses on the most flexible retail trading hours for their needs – and it’s the latter we want you to have your say on, right now.

Complete the online survey and have your say, or pick up a hard copy of the survey from the Shire stall at the Ag show, or the Shire Admin Building. Make sure your voice is heard before 1 December 2023.

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