Enjoy your last family Christmas: NSW Government launches attack on Boxing Day

Nov 19 2014

This year will be the last Christmas many families get to spend together if the NSW Government gets its way and opens shops on important days like Boxing Day and Easter Sunday.

State Parliament today debated whether to maintain restrictions on trading on the remaining four and a half days when trading is currently restricted. The debate was triggered after over 12,000 NSW residents – including workers, religious leaders and MPs – signed a petition calling on Parliament to protect the important days from retail trading.

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association NSW Secretary Bernie Smith said the NSW Liberal party made it very clear in today’s debate that it is looking to remove retail trading restrictions on the final few remaining trading-free days.

“We’re calling on NSW MPs not to ruin Christmas for thousands of workers and their families by allowing trading on the last few remaining public holidays,” Mr Smith said.

“The benefits to the economy of any further retail trading deregulation are negligible and at best illusory, yet the social cost to workers, families and communities is real and growing.

“It’s disappointing that the NSW Liberal party is so clearly intent on forcing people to open shops on the final few remaining shopping-free days, rather than allowing workers to spend time with their families.

“Some of the MPs today argued that it’s just about choice, but what choice are they leaving workers?

“Another Liberal MP believed his family’s right to go shopping outweighed retail workers right to family time on these days. It’s amazing how out of touch these ideas are.

“Retail workers serve the community 360 1/2 days a year. They deserve a break.

“Just today we received notice of some stores intending to open on Christmas Day. Surely the NSW Liberal party can see that this is an outrageous attack on our right to spend Christmas with our families and friends.

“Our right to see our kids open their Christmas presents, or be with them at the family gathering must outweigh the selfish desire of those who think a cheap toaster is more important than having families together on these special days.

“The people of NSW want our MPs to commit to protecting Christmas.”

The debate in NSW Parliament comes as submissions into the Harper Competition Review, which is looking at trading regulation as part of the review, close.

Stand up for retail workers and any further erosion of their precious family time.
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