Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (5 September) . . Page.. 3115 ..
MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):
I present to the Assembly provides the important infrastructure to facilitate this partnership and to boost employment and training in the building and construction industry. I have very great pleasure, Mr Speaker, in commending the Bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Berry) adjourned.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (10.45): Mr Speaker, I present the Trading Hours (Amendment) Bill 1996, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
This Bill closes a potential loophole which Coles Supermarkets are intent on utilising to escape the clear intent of this Assembly in its passage into law of the Trading Hours Bill in June. The amendments clarify the definition of supermarkets being open for trade. Subsection 7(1) of the legislation at the present time says:
A person shall not keep a large supermarket open to the public for the purpose of trading at a time that is outside the applicable trading hours.
In Part II of the Act the Government believes that it is desirable to remove the words "to the public" where they appear. We seek to do this to preserve the intent of the legislation, which is to require that supermarkets in town centres not trade outside the hours set down in the Act.
Coles Supermarkets, in particular, are intent on developing ways of escaping the intent of this legislation, so the Government introduces these amendments today. I foreshadow that I will ask the Assembly to consider the legislation for passage this afternoon. The establishment of a Late Night Shoppers' Club by Coles is a stunt aimed at stifling competition with local centres and retailers outside the town centres. Coles are setting up this club solely for the purpose of enabling their stores in Belconnen and Tuggeranong to trade outside the Trading Hours Act. They are seeking a declaration from the Supreme Court to say that admitting members of the Late Night Shoppers' Club to their town centre stores will not contravene the Act - not members of the public; members of the Late Night Shoppers' Club.
Mr Speaker, what a cynical ploy! For $10 you get the privilege of shopping in a Coles supermarket in a town centre late at night, free tea and coffee while you shop, and a 5 per cent discount on prices; but, Mr Speaker, only at night and only in town centre stores. Stores at places like Jamison and Curtin, which I understand would be