24-hour trading for Commonwealth Games still in doubt
MEMBER for Mermaid Beach Ray Stevens has offered to help break the political deadlock to allow retailers to open 24 hours a day during the Commonwealth Games.
However, the Government will still have to compromise if the laws are to pass in time for Gold Coast businesses to plan for the event, which starts in 300 days.
Labor introduced legislation that included a clause on unlimited trading for special events, but they were delayed last month because LNP and crossbench MPs would not support them.
Mr Stevens, who spoke against the Bill in Parliament, said he actually agreed with much of it, but could not back it entirely because it would give an unfair advantage to independent supermarkets in regional areas.
He said, if the existing Bill was defeated, he would be happy to table a Private Members Bill that separated the events trading from the other laws to get it through.
However, in order for any part of the Bill to be passed or defeated, the Government will have to get it on the agenda so it can be put to the House for a second reading.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace could not say when that would happen. "We are still waiting to see about the timing of the Bill," she said.
Ms Grace said she was "open to discussing" a separate Games provision but was keen to push ahead with the whole package of laws.
"The LNP ... did not in their statement of reservation say 'we're happy with the part about the Commonwealth Games, we're happy with Pacific Fair' (trading hour extension), they just came back and said 'we don't support the legislation'," she said.
"This is a well-balanced package."
The wider laws would also see extended trading for Pacific Fair and remove the need for retailers to apply annually for extended Christmas trading.
Ms Grace said Mr Stevens had his chance to support events trading as deputy chair of the committee that reviewed the Bill.
"I'm not going to have policy discussions in the media" she said.