New Opposition Leader Liza Harvey has stomped on former leader Mike Nahan’s deregulated shopping hours plan, saying she does not believe Perth needs any more retail trading hours.
Mrs Harvey said she could not see any reason for more shopping hours, despite Dr Nahan previously saying he wanted the Liberal Party to take a deregulated retail trading policy to the next State election.
Her stance puts her at odds with not only her former leader, but also the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA and prominent business leaders in Perth — such as Wesfarmers boss Rob Scott and his predecessor Richard Goyder — who believe Perth’s shopping hours are antiquated and not suitable in a modern city.
It also signals Mrs Harvey’s intention to do things her way and not follow either her predecessor’s path or former premier Colin Barnett’s shopping hours agenda. “I don’t think we need to go any further with that (shopping hours reform) at this point,” Mrs Harvey said.
“I think the way the economy is at the moment, my concern is small business. And small business needs to sustain itself and try and get through difficult periods.
“I am not getting a major push from any of my constituency saying they are being inconvenienced by the existing (shopping hours) regime.”
CCI boss Chris Rodwell is on record as saying “WA continues to have the worst trading hours in the country” and Mr Goyder, attacking the McGowan Government’s decision to wind back Christmas shopping hours last year, said: “Somehow there’s been a reversion to what can only be described as the 1960s.”
Mrs Harvey is a small business owner.
She said she had to close a fishing tackle business in Clarkson and would need to close another one in Morley. “I’ve still got Myaree and Joondalup and I keep hanging in there hoping retail will turn,” she said.