NSW Treasurer Mike Baird is keen to see small businesses given the opportunity to open their doors on Boxing Day and benefit from Australia’s shopping holiday.
“Boxing Day has become a traditional shopping day across the country,” Mr Baird said.
“Boxing Day can be very lucrative for retailers. The NSW Government is seeking to create a level playing field across the State so that retailers in Penrith have the option to trade on Boxing Day, just like their competitors in the Sydney CBD and other parts of the state.”
Currently only some areas can trade on Boxing Day, known as ‘tourist trading precincts’, but Mr Baird said that this approach is unfair.
“It makes no sense that around a third of the State can trade on Boxing Day following exemptions for ‘tourist trading precincts’ approved by previous governments, but the rest cannot,” he said.
Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO, Jill Woods, said that business chamber organisations have been campaigning for changes for many years and fully support the NSW Government’s push.
“In Penrith, shops cannot open but across the river in Emu Plains, they can because they are classified in a different tourist zone,” she said.
“The NSW Business Chamber has been vocal on Boxing Day trading and we support this move that will benefit small businesses.”
However Ms Woods said that if Boxing Day trading became available, that the State Government must also look at holiday wages.
“Businesses cannot afford to open on weekends because of penalty rates let alone public holidays,” she said.
“Wages reform really needs to be a package, otherwise small businesses will not get any benefit from opening on Boxing Day, they simply wouldn’t be able to afford it,” she said.