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Costly Qld retail trading hours overhauled

qldretailhourschange.jpg

The Queensland government will overhaul the state's retail trading hours after a review found the current provisions are over-complicated and costly.

The review, conducted by former speaker John Mickel, found many trading hours regulations in the state did not pass the "common-sense test."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the reforms simplified about 99 trading hour provisions down to just six.

"What we will see is the biggest shake-up in trading hours that this state has seen in over 20 years," Ms Palaszczuk said.

The reforms will see Sunday and public holiday trading hours standardised across the state, as well as a number of other changes, including increasing the number of shops which can trade at the increased hours such as butchers and hardware stores.

Employment Minister Grace Grace said regional Queensland would see a big difference in the hours shops could open.

"For example on a Sunday, Townsville doesn't open til 11am, but you can shop in Mackay at 10:30am, " Ms Grace said.

"They will be standardised and consistent - 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm Saturdays, and 9am to 6pm Sundays and public holidays."

With the longer hours, concerns have been raised that employees could be forced to work overtime to cover shifts.

However, Mr Mickel said his report found that did not happen in southern states while one of the recommendations calls for legislation to ensure any extension of working hours in voluntary.

"I wanted to bring in flexibility but also, if there's going to be protection for business, I wanted protection for employees," he said.

Mr Mickel was also conscious of the "fragile" nature of the economy in regional areas of Queensland, and had tried to strike a "compromise" between cutting red tape and simply allowing businesses to open whenever they liked.

© AAP 2017

Image - Bigstock

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