Council backs Coast’s small businesses
  • Friday 22 May 2015

Sunshine Coast Council has shown its support for the region’s small businesses by opposing an application by the National Retail Association which aims to merge 14 zones in the South East Queensland area into one zone.

The proposal would open the way for expanded trading hours, including Monday to Saturday trade between 7am and 9pm, for the large retailers and shopping centres across the Sunshine Coast.

Small and independent shops often take advantage of when the large retailers are closed, especially in the early morning slot.

At today’s Ordinary Meeting, councillors unanimously endorsed a recommendation that authorises Council’s Chief Executive Officer to write to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to initially oppose the NRA application.

Master Grocers Australia (MGA), which represents the interests of independent supermarkets in Queensland, and the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIQ) also oppose the proposal.

Deputy Mayor Cr Chris Thompson said it was important that Council backed small business which is at the heart of the region’s economy, employing between 70% and 80% of the Coast’s workforce.

He also acknowledged the importance of major retailers on the Sunshine Coast, particularly in the jobs they generate and the flow-on effects of their larger scale operations to the area’s economy.

“Council’s view is that we support the retail industry,” Cr Thompson said.

“Changes to trading hours such as those in the application should be considered only after the outcomes of the Productivity Commission’s Harper Review and associated industrial relations reviews are finalised.

“We will provide our views to the Industrial Relations Commission and whether it will have an influence we’re not sure, but we felt it was important that we put our views forward and support these smaller players.”