Greens to oppose deregulation of retail trading hours

April 9, 2003 - The Greens (WA) today released a position paper on the Government's proposed deregulation of retail trading hours, setting out the reasons why the moves should be opposed.

The paper reads in part:

'The Greens (WA) does not support the State Government's push for more liberalised trading hours. We believe that increased trading hours will strengthen the position of big business at the expense of small businesses, local producers and community organisations generally.

If trading hours are further deregulated thousands of retailers will be forced to close because they will not be able to compete with the buying power of major retailers. Hundreds of small businesses would be forced to close down, which could cause thousands of job losses. Deregulation would be disastrous for employment in Western Australia.'

Mining and Pastoral MLC Robin Chapple said the Government's plans could place a particularly heavy burden on regional retailers, who are already struggling to compete against the major chains.

'I have been approached by many small business people in the Mining and Pastoral area who are dead against any moves to make it harder for them to stay in business,' Mr Chapple said. 'Australia already has an extraordinarily high concentration of market power in a small number of hands, and I don't see how the Government can justify further concessions to the big end of town.

The position paper makes a number of recommendations which the Government would do well to consider, if it is serious about promoting employment and supporting local small businesses.

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