Millicent shoppers make a stand

COMMUNITY CAMPAIGN: Labor Legislative Council deputy leader Clare Scriven presents State Opposition leader Peter Malinauskas with the 1200 signatures opposing shop trading hour deregulation in Millicent.

A PETITION calling on the State Government to retain Millicent’s rare regulated shop trading hours has attracted more than 1200 signatures since its release two weeks ago.

Labor’s Deputy Leader of the Legislative Council Clare Scriven said since the circulation of a “stop deregulation” petition at Foster’s Foodland and IGA Millicent – along with other small businesses in the town – there had been a groundswell of support.

Last week, following the introduction of legislation by Treasurer Rob Lucas to reform the state’s “absurd” shop trading laws, Ms Scriven updated State Opposition leader Peter Malinauskas on the campaign.

“Millicent has twice overwhelmingly voted against deregulation of shop trading hours, so the message could not be clearer,” she said.

“Local jobs must be the government’s top priority and deregulation would cost local people’s jobs.

“1200 signatures in two weeks is only the beginning.”

Last week, Treasurer Rob Lucas introduced legislation into the upper house in a bid to reform the state’s “absurd” shop trading laws.

The law will allow Millicent’s regulated stores to trade 24/7 every day of the year, including Good Friday, Christmas Day and Anzac Day morning.

On Wednesday, Mr Malinauskas joined the five Legislative Council crossbenchers on the steps of Parliament House to sign a pledge of support for the state’s small business sector.

SA-Best MLC Frank Pangallo reaffirmed his party’s opposition to the proposed new shop trading laws, saying the collective vote of the crossbench and the opposition would “see the legislation fail at the starting blocks”.

Despite the legislation being likely to fail before it gets to the lower house, where Member for MacKillop Nick McBride sits, Ms Scriven said pressure was mounting on the first-term MP to vote against his party’s legislation.

“One thing that is clear is after spending considerable time talking to residents from Millicent is they do not want shop trading hours deregulated,” she said.

“What they do want is for Nick McBride to cross the floor, vote against this legislation put forward by his Liberal colleagues and stand up for his local constituents.

“Nick McBride has already acknowledged that deregulation will lead to either Fosters Foodland or the IGA at Millicent shutting down and that’s not good enough.”

Mr McBride dismissed Labor’s calls to vote against the legislation.

“Ms Scriven can count and knows that my crossing the floor in the lower house will not change the outcome,” he said.

“I am working to deliver the status quo for the Millicent business community and continue to negotiate in the party room.”