Courier-Mail opinion piece on daylight saving

I have an opinion piece on daylight saving published in today’s Courier-Mail, arguing it is time for a new trial of summer time in Queensland, at least for South-East Queensland, as the economic costs (including the opportunity cost of lost recreational opportunities) are becoming too large to ignore:

It is time to give summer time another try

Queensland has changed a lot since the early 1990s when we last had summer time, as I note in the conclusion of the article:

…I suspect the benefits of daylight saving would be more obvious this time, particularly taking into account the greater emphasis on an outdoors lifestyle and al fresco dining in Queensland today, than in the early 1990s. It is time to give summertime another try.

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12 Responses to Courier-Mail opinion piece on daylight saving

  1. Glen says:

    Gene, even though I live in Townsville these days I am neutral on the DS debate and as a golfer wouldn’t mind squeezing in a quick nine after work, however of all the debates on this subject the financial cost one is the hardest to quantify and open to interpretation, further to this if there is a financial cost to not having daylight saving then why would passing those costs onto areas outside of SEQ be advantageous in any way. However your article does raise the general point of the fact that SEQ has a lifetsyle and other considerations that are growing further away from the rest of the state and we should have a sensible debate about creating a new state in the North, even the moderates who have dismissed the idea in the past have started to show some interest.

  2. Andrea says:

    Hi Gene. I’ve always wondered how much the electricity saving in households from less lighting would be if we were lighting our houses for one hour less of darkness in the evening first thing after work. Perhaps only miniscule? But perhaps less evening peaking capacity required by the generators? Andrea

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Thanks for the comment, Andrea. The evidence I’ve seen is ambiguous. While there is the saving in lighting costs this can be offset by other changes – e.g. people running air conditioners for longer after work.

  3. John Kettle says:


    In Europe at the moment. On daylight saving, have you considered the impact on household expenditure of people having to switch on their lights an hour earlier in the evening as there is no such stranded cost in the morning.


    John Kettle Partner T +61 7 3233 8962 | T+61 2 9270 8614 M +61 419 646 379 E McCullough Robertson Lawyers Level 11, 66 Eagle Street, Brisbane QLD 4000 Level 16, 55 Hunter Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Brisbane Sydney Newcastle

    Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Telstra Mobile network.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Thanks for the comment, John. Andrea asked a similar question above and the answer is that the the impact on electricity use is ambiguous because e.g. people might run their air-conditioners for longer.

  4. Have to disagree with you on this one Gene! DS would make no sense at all in the north and the idea of having different time zones within the one state would be a nightmare.
    All that would do is give some people more fuel for the “North Queensland” state idea; in my opinion another nonsense idea.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Thanks for the comment, Pete. I can accept it would inconvenience many in NQ, but I think the gains to SEQ residents would be large, so it’s about working out whether the total benefits exceed the costs. I can understand people will disagree on whether this is the case, and hence I’d like to see a trial period to test it out. That said, I can’t see that occurring anytime soon. I’ve quickly discovered today what a contentious issue this is!

  5. Mark Beath says:

    I saw your C-M op-ed during my visit to the Cairns RS today. The RSL is pretty much the only place in FNQ which stocks the C-M and where one can keep in touch with SEQ opinion for what it is. Let me also post a link to what I think is an excellent explanation of the more technical issues around “daylight saving” in Queensland. I like this link because I can always use it as an example of why the most ignorant are more typically those who criticise the position of Queensland rather than the reverse.

    There are a few interesting points in here. First is that SEQ is disadvantaged anyway by being on an amount of “daylight losing time” relative to the time zone. Second is that FNQ is both north and west of the major centres which creates entirely different circumstances during the adverse wet season. From an FNQ perspective I would be happy to compromise and shift the clock forward half an hour all year.

    I’m not sure I cop much of the economic argument on business cost. The business travel example doesn’t stack for me and is about as valid as the faded curtains. Is there any actual empirical analysis?

    If there is an economic justification for daylight saving in SEQ then there would also be justification for fiscal transfer to the regions to compensate for lost amenity?

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Thanks for the comment and the link, Mark. I’m still trying to track down the original study that was quoted in the courier mail article in December 2013 that I took the cost estimate from. It was a study commissioned by either CCIQ or Ai Group. Admittedly I should have done this before quoting the figure. My feeling is that there are real costs including the lost activity in the hospitality sector and lost recreational opportunities.

  6. Gene….just check this out and then stop the DS nonsense! 🙂

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