Boxing Day trade in the suburbs a shopping bonanza as consumers vote with their feet

The Marshall Government’s move to give all suburban retailers the opportunity to open on Boxing Day, for the first time, has been declared a ‘huge success’ as thousands of shoppers right across Adelaide flocked to take part in the post-Christmas sales.

From Elizabeth, Noarlunga and Port Adelaide to Tea Tree Gully and Marion, crowds queued from the early hours of the morning to be among the first through shopping centre doors to grab a Boxing Day bargain.

Premier Steven Marshall said consumers had ‘voted with their feet’ in overwhelming support of the Government’s pro-deregulation agenda and showed why broader shop trading hours reform was required.

“Today’s massive turnout is a ringing endorsement of the need for shop trading hours reform,” said Premier Marshall.

“To have South Australians and holiday tourists turn out in their thousands for Boxing Day sales sends a strong message to the Shoppies’ union and their mates in the Labor party, led by former union boss Peter Malinauskas, that people are crying out for change.

“If Mr Malinauskas and the union bosses had their way, suburban retailers’ doors would have remained firmly shut today and South Australians would be denied the freedom of choice that their interstate counterparts so happily enjoy.

“In contrast, we’ve said all along, if consumers want to shop, traders want to open and employees are willing and able to work, why should the law stop them?

“My Government’s view is why shouldn’t families in Elizabeth, Noarlunga, Port Adelaide, Tea Tree Gully and Marion have the same opportunity and freedom to shop as families near the CBD?”

Last month, Treasurer Rob Lucas granted the Boxing Day exemptions under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 in response to “strong demand” from consumers and retailers.

The move enabled suburban stores to open their doors from 9:00am to 5:00pm today - if they chose. Shop trading hours were also extended in the CBD by an additional two hours today, enabling stores to open from 9:00am instead of 11:00am. 

“We said back in October when Labor, under instruction from their Shoppies’ union mates, voted down our Retail Trading bill, that we would continue to campaign for long-overdue shop trading hours reform,” said Premier Marshall.“Greater freedom of choice in shopping hours is supported by 75 per cent of South Australians.”

The Treasurer has indicated that he has made no decision at this stage about the possibility of trading on any other public holidays and he would consider that issue after considering the results of Boxing Day trading.

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