Push for big change to Anzac Day

Changes to what businesses can open and when on Anzac Day could be coming to one state. Picture: NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard

The NSW government is reviewing trading laws for retail businesses on Anzac Day, with more stores facing stricter closure rules for the public holiday.

Currently, businesses including supermarkets and clothing stores are required to stay closed until 1pm at the earliest on Anzac Day, while traders including pharmacies, petrol stations and cafes are exempt from the rule.

The new review, announced on Saturday, will examine if retail stores should remain closed for more of the day.

A statement from NSW Industrial Relations Minister Sophie Cotsis said the potential changes have been sparked by debate over whether the day is being “appropriately recognised”, and if changes should be made to allow all Australians the opportunity to take part in commemorations.

The NSW government will review trading hours on Anzac Day. Picture: NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard

The statement argues trading restrictions allow workers and business owners the opportunity to participate in events including Dawn Services, veteran marches and wreath laying ceremonies.

Trading restrictions on Anzac Day vary across Australia.

In NSW, Queensland and Victoria, most stores, other than those listed as exempt, cannot open for business until 1pm.

South Australia employs a similar rule, with non-exempt businesses able to trade from 12pm to 5pm inside CBDs.

Tasmania bars businesses from opening before 12.30pm.

Western Australia employs the strictest rules, with general retail stores, including supermarkets, unable to open at all on the day, though service stations and small retail shops are exempt from the rule.

The NT and ACT have no restrictions on trading hours on Anzac Day.

Changes could be made to ensure more Australians have the opportunity to participate in events including the Anzac Day march. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Glenn Campbell

Submissions are now open for interested parties, who can share their thoughts in writing via the NSW Government Have Your Say website or via email to anzacdayretailtrading@customerservice.nsw.gov.au. The final date for submissions is October 20.

“I am looking forward to hearing from business groups, unions, RSLs and other stakeholders about how they feel about this potential change,” Ms Cotsis said.

“We want to hear whether retail workers and other parties would appreciate a greater opportunity to commemorate Anzac Day in NSW.”