The Queensland Government’s new Office of Best Practice Regulation – Queensland’s mini Productivity Commission – released its interim report on Reducing the Burden of Regulation today, and I was very pleased to see it has recommended fast-tracking a review of trading hours restrictions as well as regulations in some other areas such as housing, mining and OHS. Regarding trading hours regulations the OBPR notes:
To the extent that the purpose of the restrictions is to protect workers, the rules are questionable because workers are protected by workplace relations laws, minimum wage and penalty rates governed by Commonwealth legislation.
An unstated objective of the Act may be to assist small business by restricting larger businesses operating times. If this is in fact an objective, this restriction on competition should be made explicit and the benefits assessed against the costs.
My previous posts on Queensland’s archaic retail trading hours restrictions include: