The Mandurah mayor and Peel Chamber of Commerce have weighed in on whether they will support deregulating local retail trading hours – which would allow stores to stay open until 9pm.
Mandurah resident Johanna North highlighted the issue in a community Facebook page post earlier this week, which gained traction and discussion.
Ms North, who works in Perth, said she is forced to shop for groceries in another suburb on her way home, taking money out of Mandurah.
“Usually people don’t finish work until 5.30pm or 6pm,” Ms North said.
“Mandurah is a wonderful town, but I struggle to understand why nothing is open after 6pm, and we have three Woolworths, within a three-kilometre radius.”
Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams said the council would be consulting with the community on the issue – but he believed Mandurah should be in line with Perth trading hours.
“I think we need to support business to help provide more jobs for our young people, but the council and I will listen closely to our community before making a final decision,” he said.
I think we need to support business to help provide more jobs for our young people...City of Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams.
“Some in the community argue that to increase trading hours has a negative impact on community activity because increased hours cut into family time, and compromise sporting, cultural and church activities.
“On the other hand, others argue that it would be best to completely deregulate trading hours to make our businesses more competitive, particularly, at a time when online shopping is so strong in Mandurah.”
Peel Chamber of Commerce general manager Andrew McKerrell said Woolworths, Coles and Bunnings could “definitely” afford to stay open, but the smaller businesses could not.
The city council regulates trading hours and that is why the franchises, national and multi-national, can’t open till after 6pm.Peel Chamber of Commerce general manager Andrew McKerrell
“The city council regulates trading hours and that is why the franchises, national and multi-national, can’t open till after 6pm,” he said.
Mr McKerrell said he would write in support of deregulated trading hours, if he received “overwhelming” support from the business community.
“Extended trading hours can, in theory, provide more employment for our youth, but the community needs to be utilising the retail businesses during those operating hours to make it feasible,” he said.
“I can understand the disappointment from the community about convenience, but the shop owners physically cannot afford to stay open.
...the community needs to be utilising the retail businesses during those operating hours to make it feasible.Peel Chamber of Commerce general manager Andrew McKerrell
“Unfortunately, the community has less disposable income, so people are watching their dollars a lot more then what they used to.”
Mr McKerrell said they supported a short extension over Christmas, which will begin December 8 or 16, 2018 and run to January 1, 2019.
Retail stores will be able to trade from 8am to 6pm on weekends and 8am to 9pm during the week.