The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) opposes New South Wales (NSW) Opposition Leader Michael Daley’s recalcitrant intervention on Boxing Day trading yesterday. As the retail sector is the largest private industry employer in Australia and NSW, the ARA disputes Michael Daley’s introspective comments.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said Mr Daley’s stance that Boxing Day is driven by corporate greed is ludicrous, as Boxing Day is beneficial for both retailers and employees.

“Mr Daley has revealed his hand with this extraordinary proposal to ban Boxing Day trading in NSW – it is abundantly clear that he wants to deny retail workers the employment and wage-earning potential that this day provides, “Mr Zimmerman said.

“This is another cynical effort to cost NSW retailers valuable income and retail employees a treasured opportunity to earn extra money on one of the biggest trading days of the year.”

Prior to 2015, retail trade on Boxing Day had been restricted to tourist precincts only including Bondi and the Sydney CBD. The current State Government of NSW legislated to allow Boxing Day trade across the whole state after a two-year trial.

With comprehensive feedback from business owners, employees and shoppers, an independent review conducted in 2017, revealed that allowing Boxing Day trade in NSW would level the playing field for retailers and provide extra work opportunities for workers to take part in the Boxing Day sales.

“Retail employees, including young people and students, have been put on notice by Mr Daley that he would prefer to reduce their employment opportunities and put them at a disadvantage to their counterparts in every other Australian State and Territory,” Mr Zimmerman said.

After South Australia recently joined other states and territories across Australia who operate on Boxing Day including Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT, the backwards step proposed by Mister Daley is prehistoric in nature and will severely disadvantage local small business owners in Australia’s biggest state.

“This is proposition is straight out of the primordial ooze and Mr Daley wants to take NSW back to the land before time,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“While this may come as a surprise to some in politics, the majority of New South Welshmen have views which have evolved well-past this 1980s-era thinking. Consumers want to shop on Boxing Day, employees want the opportunity to earn extra wages, and retailers want to trade.”

“Any move to prevent local businesses from serving their customers on the busiest retailing day of the year will merely drive consumers online and provide a significant leg-up to overseas competitors.”

The ARA will continue to work with retailers and their employees and will take up the fight to ensure that Boxing Day trade remains in NSW.