Policy to be scrutinised as Albany prepares for likely trading hours consultation

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
City of Albany councillors have endorsed a referendum on extended trading hours at the committee level.
Camera IconCity of Albany councillors have endorsed a referendum on extended trading hours at the committee level. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

The City of Albany’s retail trading hours policy will be repeatedly scrutinised as a likely consultation on the matter draws closer in the first half of the year.

Retail trading hours for general retail shops in the City are currently limited to 8am to 6pm weekdays, with late-night shopping to 9pm on Thursdays and trading from 8am to 5pm on Saturdays.

Small retail shops are already able to open 24 hours a day all year.

In order to do so they must have certification verifying they have six or fewer owners operating no more than four shops with 25 or fewer people working at a time, and they are able to sell any goods except motor vehicles.

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A list of special retail shops considered necessary for emergency, convenience or recreation goods are able to open from 6am to 11.30pm every day.

The list includes shops such as pharmacies, garden nurseries, hardware and home improvement shops, newsagencies and bookshops, video shops, art and craft shops, souvenir and duty free shops, shops at sports venues, boating shops, motor vehicle spare parts shops and shops at international standard hotels.

Community consultations in 2005 and 2012 both rejected trading hours being permanently extended.

In 2014 the council approved its Temporary and Short Term Extended Trading Hours Policy, which was then updated in 2016.

It established guidelines for when extended trading hours, which include weekday trading to 9pm and Sunday trading from 10am to 5pm, could be brought into effect during “peak visitor times”.

The hours have regularly been put in place in Albany throughout December and January during the busy summer school holiday period.

Peak visitor periods as defined by the policy also includes the Easter holidays, public holiday long weekends, and public holidays excluding Christmas Day and Good Friday.

It also allows for extended hours during special circumstances when there is expected to be an influx of people at a time external to usual trading hours.

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