Retail giant Woolworths has appealed to the West Australian
government to deregulate the state's shopping hours, while
urging them to repeal bizarre laws which regulate what times
cigarettes, pantyhose and needles can be sold in petrol
In a submission to an inquiry into the future of the WA
economy, Woolworths pleaded with the state's authorities to
relax opening hours for shops to 7am on weekdays and
Saturdays, and extend Sunday trading hours.
"This would represent millions of dollars in increased wages
flowing, every week, into local communities," argued Michael
Samaras, Woolworths's government relations manager.
The government inquiry was designed to compare WA's economic
performance against other states, as well international
economies, and identify areas of possible reform.
In their submission, Woolworths argues the state's liquor
licensing system is in desperate need of reform, saying the
process "is confusing, inconsistent and lacks clarity".
The retail superpower, which also operates the BWS and Dan
Murphy's outlets in WA, also wants the state to allow
non-metropolitan liquor stores to open on Sundays, while
instituting a "fundamental review" of liquor licensing
And they have also taken a dig at some of the state's
outdated retailing laws.
The submission points out that as part of WA's 1988 Retail
Trading Hours Regulations legislation, limits are placed on
what goods can be sold in petrol station shops at different
That means petrol stations can sell cigarettes before 8am on
Mondays but not nicotine patches, and can sell pantyhose
after 9pm on Thursdays - but not underpants at the same time.
"The original point of these restrictions is lost and the
regulations are now quite redundant and create all sorts of
inconsistencies and inconvenience," Mr Samaras said.
After considering the submissions, WA's Economic Regulation
Authority will publish a discussion paper to further outline
the topics considered for reform.