THE future of Millicent’s shop trading hours has been decided with the decision set to cause a stir throughout the community.
While residents have voted twice to keep the regulated shopping hours, the Liberal State Government has other ideas.
Treasurer Rob Lucas has confirmed the government will not exempt Millincent from its proposed shop trading hours deregulation.
Treasurer Lucas said the exemption of Millicent from the government’s deregulation plan would perpetuate the existing dysfunctional restrictions on traders.
He added any move to spare proclaimed shopping districts from legislative change would result in a “mish mash of law” that could be overturned by a community vote.
“We will be insisting these shop trading reforms are across the state,” he said.
“There will still be variations but most of South Australia will be totally deregulated.”
Treasurer Lucas’ comments are at odds with Member for MacKillop Nick McBride, who has pledged to seek an exemption within the party room.
The government will introduce legislation to remove restrictions on shop trading hours, including in Millicent, within the first 100 days of office.
Woolworths Millicent, Foster’s Foodland and Target Country are currently impacted by the restricted trading hours.
The amendment will see the town’s regulated shops able to trade from midnight to 9pm every day except Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day morning.
While the community has twice voted in favour of retaining the regulated shopping hours, businesses are divided over the proposal with Woolworths and Foster’s expressing polarising views on the subject.
Nick Xenophon’s SA-Best likely Upper House representative Frank Pangallo did not rule out voting down the State Government’s amendment, saying consultation with stakeholders was necessary before a decision was made.
The most likely composition of the Legislative Council will require the State Liberal Government to secure at least three additional non-government members to form a majority and carry votes on the floor.
Greens MLC Mark Parnell has previously indicated the party would not support the government’s proposal.