MILLICENT IGA workers have urged the State Government to release guidelines on the inclusions of the 400 square metre floor space ratio.
Their plea follows Treasurer Rob Lucas saying the interpretation of the Shop Trading Hours Act was likely to be resolved in court, despite the State Government seeking clarification with Crown law.
Mr Lucas focused on the George Street supermarket’s interpretation of the 400 square metre calculation, which he said saw the store bringing fridges and freezers in from the wall in a bid to get under the legislative requirement.
He said the Millicent retailer had also sought to exclude the cigarette counter from the calculation.
Only stores with a floor space under 400 square metres can trade out of hours in Millicent.
Earlier this year, SafeWork SA auditors examined the store and determined the supermarket had an area of 438.2 square metres.
Although the company stated it was their belief the store was 396 square metres, a further reorgnaisation took place.
Millicent IGA manager Christine Gibbs said a further audit was conducted in November, but the store was confident it was operating within the regulated floor space.
“All we want is clarity around the law, because we want to follow it,” she said.
Ms Gibbs’ comments were backed by Labor parliamentarian Clare Scriven, who claimed Mr Lucas was “spitting the dummy” and “refusing to help retailers by sharing the guidelines with which they are to comply”.
“Local retailers want to obey the law,” Ms Scriven said.
Ms Scriven squared off at MacKillop MP Nick McBride, questioning where the first-term politician was in standing up to the Treasurer’s “attacks on local residents”.
“When it comes to standing up for anything to do with Millicent, Mr McBride is missing in action,” she said.
Mr McBride issued a stinging rebuke of Ms Scriven’s comments, labelling them as “unhelpful” and “deliberately destructive”.
“I understand that Safe Work SA have and do, provide general advice to shop owners,” he said.
“The current shop trading laws are a messy legacy left by Labor.
“I have been active in my support for the Millicent community including work to realise the legislative ban on the practice of fracking in the South East and the delay to the Mining Bill.
“I have advocated for the Millicent community on shop trading hours in the party room and will continue to do so on the issues that matter to the Millicent community.”