Sunday Trading in Warwick & Stanthorpe to Commence 12 July, 2017

Sunday trading in Warwick and Stanthorpe has been approved, effective 12 July 2017, in a decision handed down by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, following a submission made by Council on behalf of the community.

Sunday trading in the Southern Downs’ urban centres has for long been a discussion point in the community. A growing tourism industry means visitors seeking access to retail facilities they would normally have in South East Queensland. Changing working patterns of local residents makes Sunday trading an action supported by many. Both Warwick and Stanthorpe Chambers of Commerce have previously stated their support for Sunday trading.

Research in similar regional and tourism towns showed that Sunday trading increased visitation by residents and visitors, and prolonged the stay of visitors in the CBDs. Sunday trading lead to an increase of trade by all participating retail outlets in these areas.

The decision by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to grant extended trading hours to Warwick and Stanthorpe is a positive step forward for both centres, said Manager Economic Development and Tourism Scott Templeman. “The Southern Downs has approximately 800,000 visitors each year and many of them come from areas where there is already extended trading hours. When they visit the Southern Downs they expect to have the same shopping experience as they have at home,” said Mr Templeman.

The extended trading hours will help the local economy. Mr Templeman said that the extended hours will provide residents with more job opportunities and more hours and shifts in the Region’s retail sector. “Retail is one of the Region’s major employers,” said Mr Templeman.

Smaller independent retailers, who have always been able to open on Saturday afternoon and Sundays can choose now to open and take advantage of the extra foot traffic the major stores will generate.

Mr Templeman added that the Southern Downs Regional Council’s Economic Development Unit will work with the Chambers of Commerce to deliver workshops for their members and other traders on how best to manage extended hours. Traders can keep track of these workshops on the Council website or through their Chambers.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie says that 7-day trading in Warwick and Stanthorpe will be a boon for local business and tourism operators. “In an increasingly competitive marketplace, our region will no longer be at a distinct disadvantage compared to other regions. I’m looking forward to seeing an increase in trading and visitor numbers.”

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