Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

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Easter trading issue

Monday 21 March 2016

An issue has come to Council’s attention relating to trading for larger businesses over the Easter period. It appears that unless a business is exempt under the Retail Trading Act 2008, or was granted exemption under the Shops and Industries Act 1962, those businesses need to apply for exemption from NSW Industrial Relations to open on a restricted trading day.

These restricted trading days are Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Operators of shops and businesses in the Shire have the choice of applying for an exemption, however it should be noted that many small business types are already covered by exemptions granted by NSW Industrial Relations. These include:

  • Bazaars, fairs or markets if the bazaars, fairs or markets are conducted for charitable or public fundraising purpose
  • Book shops
  • Cake and pastry shops
  • Chemists shops
  • Cooked provision shops
  • Florists shops
  • Fruit and vegetable shops
  • Newsagencies
  • Nurseries
  • Pet shops
  • Recorded music, video or DVD shops
  • Restaurants, cafes or kiosks
  • Seafood shops
  • Shops ancillary to venues for playing sport of physical recreation
  • Souvenir shops
  • Take-away food and drink shops
  • Tobacconists shops
  • Vehicle shops, vehicle service centres or petrol stations

The specific Local Government Area exemptions referred to in the Retail Trading Act 2008 apply trading periods for the Bega Valley as “12 days coinciding with School Holidays in April-May and the last 14 days in December.” Obviously as Easter has fallen within school holidays for many years this has not been an issue for some time. Of the 152 Councils in NSW only 38 have exemptions for the Easter period, Bega Valley has the one mentioned above and the rest do not have this general exemption at all.

In the last four years individual shops and larger companies have sought exemptions but most have not been successful.

Council is considering possible solutions for this year and Mayor Michael Britten has contacted local member Andrew Constance and Minister for Industrial Relations, Gladys Berejiklian, to see if they can assist local traders. Council will work with local Chambers of Commerce and the Business Forum to make a submission to have the gazettal notice amended to cover Easter for future years.

For more information, please visit the NSW Industrial Relations website

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