Tuesday 23rd November 2004

Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, my concern with this proposed measure to restrict shop trading hours is the effect that it is going to have on the visitors to the State as well as the local residents and of course the shop traders themselves.

While Tasmania has loosened up its shop trading hours without the dire predictions of the end of the world as we know it coming true, it seems to me that the present shop trading hours are working well for the public and for visitors to Tasmania. The honourable member for Windermere referred to the fact that he was not here for the debate of the shop trading hours. Nor was I, but certainly the debate was occurring during my campaigning time so it was a pretty hot issue when I was travelling up and down the West Tamar and certainly had I come here to the House to debate the issue, it would have been very difficult taking the guidelines from the electorate because it really was a 50:50 situation with the way the arguments were being presented to me.

The two days proposed for the extra restrictions on shop trading, Boxing Day and Easter Sunday, both fall within periods of high visitor numbers so are we to tell the visitors that they cannot buy those basic necessities during those days when they are here?
Mr Hall - I still can.

Mr FINCH - Not if we close the shops on the two days.

I support the existing restrictions on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day but I am not convinced that we need any further restrictions.