You have been warned!

Monday 16 April 2012

You have been warned!

Local retailers have voiced their disapproval for "archaic" trading hour laws which restrict many businesses from operating on some of the busiest days of the year.

Chamber of Commerce committee member and retailer Doug Calvert has been working hard to clarify the laws, with more than 50 local 'non-exempt' businesses expected to receive a written warning from the Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland for trading on Good Friday.

"When retailers receive these letters they will be required to sign and acknowledge that they now understand the hours they are allowed to open," Mr Calvert said after speaking to one of the inspectors who visited Port Douglas businesses.

What are exempt shops?

Being Queensland legislation, Mr Calvert has recommended to the Chamber that immediate action be taken to obtain support from newly elected State Member For Cook, David Kempton, to commence the

process to have all Port Douglas businesses exempted by amending the Trading (allowable hours) Act 1990.

"This should be supported on the basis that we are a tourist town that survives solely on tourism and Easter is one of our busiest trading periods and businesses cannot afford to close for one of our peak trading days," he said.

"The Trading Hours Act for Queensland has always been in existence however this is the first time it has been enforced in Port Douglas to the inspector's knowledge."

But Mr Calvert warned business owners to be mindful of the restrictions on trading hours on ANZAC Day, with non-exempt businesses required to remain closed until 1pm or face fines of up to $20,000.

Inspectors reportedly issued three Good Friday warnings in Cairns and one in Palm Cove, dwarfed by the number issued in Port Douglas.

A number of readers expressed their anger at the crackdown on The Newsport article 'Good Friday? Not for our businesses' (Wednesday 11 April, 2012).

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