Seven day trade looms for Warwick
SWEEPING reforms could help seven-day trading come to Southern Downs consumers earlier than expected.
Sunday and public holiday trading hours are set to be standardised across Queensland, with towns like Warwick and Stanthorpe, currently without Sunday trade, able to opt in through an application to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
Currently, major shops in Warwick are open from 8am to 9pm weekdays, 8am to 5pm Saturday, and remain closed on Sunday and public holidays.
Under the reforms, Easter Sunday would also be an open trading day for those that have Sunday trading in place, hardware stores would be able to open from 6am on Sundays, butchers could trade without restriction and car yards could operate on Sundays.
Rose City Shoppingworld manager Jason Gard said the shopping centre supported the move as it would help boost investment and jobs, but said the changes were yet to be locked in.
"It definitely would be beneficial for Warwick due to the number of people we have coming through town,” Mr Gard said.
"The reforms are giving businesses the opportunity to open for longer if it's beneficial to them.
"Industry groups haven't had a chance to review the reform so at the moment my big question is just how it would affect us in Warwick.”
Warwick Chamber of Commerce member Lewis von Stieglitz said he was looking forward to seeing the outcome for the Rose City.
"We are at a disadvantage without Sunday trade,” Mr von Stieglitz said.
"People go to Toowoomba to shop and we don't attract customers from places like Tenterfield.
"I think the move would also increase employment in town for places like Big W, Coles and Woolies, but whether there will be a much bigger upswing than that is yet to be seen.
"I know IGA are saying it would have a negative economic impact for us but I don't think we will be able to comment until the report is placed.”
Mr von Stieglitz said he had noted far less opposition to the most recent submission to extend trading hours than three years ago.
A hearing is scheduled for Toowoomba courts next week to review trading hours in Warwick and Stanthorpe.
Independent studies have projected an economic benefit to Queensland of up to $253million.