The Illawarra Business Chamber has welcomed the introduction of a Bill that provides certainty regarding the ability of Illawarra businesses to open on Boxing Day.
The Retail Trading Amendment (Boxing Day) Bill 2017 will allow the continuation of Boxing Day Trade across New South Wales following a two-year trial and follows the independent review by the Professor Percy Allan AM.
Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director, Chris Lamont, said the two-year trial was an outstanding success for retailers in Wollongong and Shellharbour who, prior to the trial, were not permitted to open on Boxing Day.
Boxing Day trade in Wollongong and Shellharbour was trialled in 2015 and 2016 and Illawarra Business Chamber members indicated it was one of their biggest trading days.
“You had the situation where shoppers were not able to support local retailers in the Illawarra. The previous situation saw the loss of trade and employment hours from the region. Boxing Day is now one busiest trading days for retail businesses,” said Chris Lamont.
Concerns around retailers and employees being forced to open or work on Boxing Day are addressed in the legislation.
“In the past, NSW has had a piecemeal policy approach towards Boxing Day trading with some parts of the state allowed to trade and others banned. The Chamber has been a strong advocate for allowing Wollongong and Shellharbour businesses to open their doors on Boxing Day, so we welcome the decision and supporting legislation,” said Chris Lamont.
“The decision to legislate Boxing Day trade will provide greater surety and consistency for businesses across the region and also provides a further incentive for tourists looking to visit the Illawarra over the Christmas and New Year period,” said Chris Lamont.