State government approves Boxing Day trade across NSW

BALANCE: Scot MacDonald.
BALANCE: Scot MacDonald.

BOXING Day trading will continue across NSW after it was welcomed by consumers, business owners and employees during a two-year trial, the state government said.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, has welcomed the announcement by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet that Boxing Day trading will continue across NSW after it was welcomed by consumers, business owners and employees during a two-year trial.

The state government announced it would legislate to allow Boxing Day trade to continue in all parts of NSW, in accordance with the findings of an independent review by Professor Percy Allan which considered feedback from retailers, employees and shoppers.

Until the two-year trial commenced, Hunter shoppers were restricted to Port Stephens or had to travel to Wyong or even Sydney, Mr MacDonald said.

“Over the last two years, I have had only strong positive feedback for Boxing Day trading in those Hunter LGAs that didn't previously enjoy shopping” Mr MacDonald said.

“It has benefited Hunter businesses, supported local retail jobs including giving many young people a chance to earn holiday money. It has kept shoppers in the region.

Mr Perrottet said it was a good outcome for all players.

“Our position strikes a sensible balance, giving retailers and their employees the freedom to work if they want to, but also putting in place strict sanctions to ensure they are not pressured to do so,” Mr Perrottet said.

Retailers who pressure employees to work will continue to face fines of up to $11,000 per employee.

Legislation to enable the 2015 reforms to continue will be introduced in the coming months.