For years, if people who live in Armadale, and, who work shift work, or work six days a week, or, for whatever reason, want to buy household items outside hours dictated by the state government, they have had to travel to places that the state government has favoured with extended trading hours. Not deregulated trading hours, but extended trading hours. Now, for a number of years, the member of the lower house of state parliament, who has been paid to represent Armadale, has been a minister of the state government, and, in all of that time, Armadale has been a victim of restricted trading practices of the state government, which has not allowed “extended trading hours” for all Armadale traders. It is a restrictive trading practice, pure and simple, and directly disadvantages Armadale and its people. And, the state premier has previously said that trading hours will not be extended.
Retailers should be allowed to choose to open for whatever hours they choose to trade, and pressure from landlords for retailers to trade outside those hours, should be outlawed, to protect the retailers. And, people should be allowed to shop when they want, and, when they need to shop.
I have written to the Australian Consumers' Association (ACA), asking for the stance of the ACA, regarding deregulation of trading hours, and stating that I am standing as an Independent Candidate in this state election, and that I support deregulation of trading hours, and with reference to this web page, and the response that I received from the ACA is this:
"I think it is fair to say that ACA is in favour of deregulation, but not in any total and absolute sense. We think there are still certain forms of regulation that are useful and should remain – e.g restrictions on sales of alcohol, cigarettes, knives and aerosol paint, drugs, etc. And there are I think certain other matters such as public holidays where it may be appropriate to apply certain controls. However, in the main, I would say that ACA thinks there should not be restrictions on opening shops in relation to their size, location number of employees, time of day, day of the week."
I note and emphasise that I have permission to publish that passage here, but the permission and the policy of the ACA, are not an endorsement of me as a candidate, but are simply the policy of the ACA, regarding deregulation of trading hours.
It is an unfortunate reflection on the people of a state, when, at any hour of the day or night, the people can buy booze, can go to a casino and gamble, or can hire a prostitute, but the people cannot go to their supermarket to buy milk or meat and fresh vegetables, cannot go to a bookshop to buy a book, and cannot buy electrical goods, such as clocks, radios, or televisions, or buy clothing. Those are just some examples of household necessities, that the state government regards as being of lower necessity than gambling, booze and prostitution.
It kind of makes me wonder about the priorities of the members of the major parties of the state parliament.
And, a significant aspect of deregulating trading hours, apart from reducing discrimination against Armadale, and, apart from the benefits of the people who live in Armadale or work in Armadale, being able to shop when they want, rather than being told when they are allowed to shop, is the prospect of the greater demand for employees, as more people would be needed to be hired to staff the shops with deregulated trading hours, and that would benefit Armadale, through higher employment in Armadale, which would strengthen the local economy. And, that would benefit some of these small businesses who falsely complain that they would necessarily be worse off, with extended trading hours.
If we have deregulated trading hours, for consumers who do not want the extended trading hours, they would not be compelled to shop outside the existing trading hours. But, they would be given the choice of when they shop, which we do not have now.
People have complained that, if we have deregulated trading hours, small businesses will go broke and disappear.
That is completely wrong.
If you examine places where trading hours are deregulated, whether in other states in Australia, or in overseas countries like New Zealand, small businesses and corner shops still exist.
And, if you examine shopping centres, small businesses, with 10 employees or less, still exist, both inside and outside the shopping centres.
And, has having shops like Bunnings, allowed to be open on Sundays and late shopping nights, resulted in smaller hardware shops and lawnmower shops, that do not open for the same longer hours, disappearing? No.
Look around Armadale. We have, in the shopping centre, a newsagent that is open for the hours of the shopping centre. Is that a larger business, with more than 10 employees? I doubt it. It survives. Outside the shopping centre, in the Jull Street Mall, is another newsagent, that is not open on Thursday nights, or for hours as long as the shopping centre is open. That newsagent survives.
We have Mazeega's, that trades 7 days a week. Does that have 10 or less employees? No. We have Colli's, that trades 7 days a week. We have, not too far away, Bunnings at Kenwick, that trades 7 days a week. Does that have 10 or less employees? No. Bunnings is part of one of the largest corporations in Australia – Wesfarmers. Now, these hardware shops sell, amongst other things, lawnmowers and chainsaws and other gardening machinery. So does K-Mart, in the Armadale Shopping centre. Does this mean that no small shop that sells these things, can survive in the area? No. Look at Armadale Mower World, that trades for less hours, than those larger shops. Armadale Mower World, survives. So do other similar shops, such as Roberts Lawnmower Centre. Now, those previously mentioned shops that are open on Sundays and Thursday nights, also sell hardware. So does K-Mart sell hardware, with the shopping centre hours. Has that driven Armadale Hardware, on Commerce Avenue, out of business? No. It survives. And, in the shopping centre, are all of the businesses, open for all of the hours of the shopping centre? No. Yet, they survive. And, are all of the businesses in the shopping centre, employing more than 10 staff? No. The small businesses still survive, and, they are able to survive, trading for the hours that THEY choose. Wander around the shopping centre. Look at how many staff are working in each of the shops. many have less than 10 staff. and, they survive, with the trading hours for which the shopping centre is open. And, go in there on a Thursday night. Are all of the shops open until 9pm? No. But, the shops that are not open until 9pm on the Thursday night, still survive.
And, are these existing trading hours, limited to "shops with 10 or less employees"? No look at Bunnings. Look at some of the Mitre 10 shops. And, are all of the shops in the Perth CBD, in Fremantle, in Rockingham and Mandurah, etc, that are presently allowed to open on Sundays, shops "employing 10 or less staff"? No. Why, then, are they allowed to trade, when shops in other locations are not? The answer is simple. Restrictive trading practices, directly disadvantaging Armadale.
It is really a question of whether we are to retain restrictive trading practices, that I had understood to be unlawful under the federal Trade Practices Act, with Armadale being a victim of this, and, whether we are to have an economy and workforce, made optimal, or whether the Armadale local economy and the Armadale workforce are to continue to be deliberately stifled.
And, given that the Armadale shopping centre is to be expanded, and Woolworths expanded, with Big W being brought to Armadale, would it not be more worthwhile, if trading hours are deregulated, to make the best use of the shopping centre, and, to strengthen the local economy, and, to increase employment in Armadale?
Or, should Armadale continue to be punished for being Armadale, by having restrictive trading practices continuing to be imposed on Armadale, with the people of Armadale continuing to be victim of the restrictive trading practices?
We have the local member of parliament, claiming credit for all of this development and expansion of shops in Armadale. But, she and her government still deny us deregulated trading hours, and, if you want to shop outside the existing allowed trading hours, you are required to travel elsewhere, away from Armadale, to boost businesses OUTSIDE Armadale. And, that is the policy of the current state government.
Now, the state government has instituted a referendum, relating to trading hours. The referendum has a number of serious problems. The first is that the state government has denied the people of Armadale, and of Western Australia, the option of deregulated trading hours, which would allow retailers to trade whenever THEY want, and denying the people of Armadale, to shop when THEY want. The second, is that, whilst voting in the referendum is compulsory, the referendum is not binding on the state government. That means that you have to vote in the referendum, providing you are eligible to vote, but your vote in the referendum does not matter, as the government can simply disregard the outcome of the referendum.
And, importantly, what has happened about the charges laid against various Harvey Norman franchisees, for trading on a Sunday? My understanding is that the Harvey Norman franchisees traded on a Sunday, to serve the public and to gauge public reaction to it, and got prosecuted for their action. The state government has remained conspicuously quiet on whether it had dropped those prosecutions.
If those prosecutions have not been eliminated, then the state government is clearly acting in bad faith, in having this referendum about trading hours, with the government pretending to find whether people want the “extended trading hours”, and prosecuting traders for doing what the people want. And, did the people of Armadale, show their opposition to the Sunday trading, by the Harvey Norman shops in Armadale, being empty on the day that it was done? No. The shops had many people, and, from what I understand, got many signatures on a petition in support of the trading. The government response to trying to serve the people of Armadale, and, trying to increase employment in Armadale? Prosecution.
Now, ask yourself; who of the candidates standing for the seat of Armadale, in the current state election, really want things to improve in Armadale – who wants employment and the local economy, strengthened in Armadale, and, who wants discrimination against Armadale, reduced, by seeking deregulation of trading hours, which will have great benefits for Armadale, in spite of the false arguments against deregulated trading hours?
And, it should be remembered that, if we have deregulated, or, even the miserable “extended”, trading hours, that are “offered” by the referendum, which are still unnecessarily restrictive, in Armadale, the extra jobs that would be created, would mean that local people would have more money to spend, and, if Armadale would have the same trading hours as anywhere else, the extra money to be spent, could be spent in Armadale itself, and, with the strengthening of the local economy and the local employment for Armadale people, it would mean that these “small retailers”, who are going to great lengths to keep their unfair trading advantage, would be far better off, with increased trade from the extra money available to be spent in Armadale.
Unless, of course, the “small retailers” really want to do no better than they are already doing, and, that seems to be part of their campaign – they appear to want to do no better in their businesses, and harm everyone else in the process.
See below, for more information, and, for some more truth about what has been published about the trading hours situation.
Due to issues recently raised about the trading hours problem, and the lies and misinformation that have been published in order to prevent trading hours being extended for all traders in WA, I have been pushed into raising the following.
The first is a point that a so-called environmentally-friendly party has clearly indicated that it wants the current trading hours restrictions to remain. An effect of that, apart from the issues that I have mentioned above, is that for a person in Armadale to buy household necessities and basic household goods, outside the currently allowed trading hours for Armadale the person is required to drive to Perth, Fremantle, Rockingham or whenever, if the person needs to buy the goods on a Sunday, for example. That means that a car or other motor vehicle is required to be driven around 60-80km more than it would otherwise be driven, that much fuel used up, and the corresponding pollutants pumped into the atmosphere, due to the policy of the self-professed environmentally-friendly party, that in fact seeks to harm the environment, by causing motor vehicles to be used more than they should need to be used.
The second, is that I have heard the cry “we are small businesses, and we do not have the advantage of the buying power of these bigger companies, so we will be disadvantaged if the companies with the bigger buying power, are allowed to open the same hours that we are.”.
I seemed to remember that the supplier of these “small businesses” which are mostly the small supermarkets, that are complaining, are generally supplied by Foodland; FAL, which had sought to buy out Woolworths in New Zealand, so, in searching on the Internet, using FAL and Woolworths,, together as search words, I found a web page, with the following information.
From the web page at http://www.fal.com.au/fal/std_content.jsp?ident=TWG1ORNU8YFFAC8NJ40V5EF1TEVJYK , on 19 February 2005:
This text was last updated
inNovember 2004. The Company's announcements to the ASX since then
provide additional information
Structure of the Business
Foodland Associated Limited (FAL) is a supermarket operator and grocery wholesaler trading in Western Australia,Queensland, northern New South Wales and New Zealand.
During the 2004 financial year, 39.6% of FAL’s sales revenues from continuing operations were derived in Australia and 60.4% were derived in New Zealand
Action Supermarkets is FAL’s Australian supermarket operator. At the end of November 2004, Action operated 44 supermarkets in Queensland and northern New South Wales and 37 in Western Australia.
FAL’s New Zealand supermarket division is Progressive Enterprises which, at the end of November 2004, operated 150 supermarkets. These comprised 57 Countdown, 30 Foodtown and 53 Woolworths stores.
Franchise & Supply
FAL is a grocery wholesaler to all Western Australian independent supermarket operators including FAL’s own franchise banner group Dewsons, Supa Valu and Eziway.
FAL’s three Cash & Carry warehouses supply up to 34,000 separate grocery and general merchandise lines to retailers and small business operators seeking to purchase less than full carton quantities.
FAL’s food service division, FoodLink supplies about 6,600 lines to nearly 1,700 customers, comprising caterers, hotels, restaurants, cafes, institutions, schools and mine sites throughout the State. Management believes that FoodLink is Western Australia ’s largest food service operator.
In New Zealand, Progressive is also a grocery wholesaler supplying banner franchise groups Fresh Choice and SuperValue mainly in the South Island.
History of the Business
FAL was incorporated in the State of Western Australia in 1926. Its origins were in the amalgamation of a number of Western Australian grocery co-operatives and other unincorporated businesses. The Company was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on 29 March 1990 and at 22 November 2004, on the basis of market capitalisation, was ranked 76 of companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, excluding suspended and illiquid companies.
Action became a wholly owned controlled entity of FAL in June 1993, prior to which FAL had owned 50% of Action, then a listed company.
During the second half of calendar 2001, FAL acquired 40 of the east coast stores together with a dedicated distribution centre of 47,000 square metres and support office facility, in the Brisbane suburb of Richlands. The stores commenced trading under the Action banner in March 2002.
Progressive is a supermarket operator and grocery wholesaler and trades throughout New Zealand. Progressive has been a member of the FAL since 1993 and a wholly owned Group member since August 1999.
In 1992 FAL acquired the Countdown group of stores from Magnum Corporation Ltd. It also acquired the Rattrays Wholesale Cash & Carry and Food Service businesses, which have subsequently been sold.
In July 1993, FAL acquired a 38.6% stake in Progressive, then a listed New Zealand company, following a tender sale by the previous owner. By arrangement with Progressive, FAL then sold to Progressive its Countdown and Rattrays businesses in exchange for further shares in Progressive, moving FAL's ownership of Progressive to 57.04%. Subsequent ownership percentage increases occurred as a consequence of FAL's participation in Progressive's dividend reinvestment plan.
During the 1999 financial year FAL increased its ownership of Progressive through on market purchases. By August 1999 all of Progressive's remaining minority shareholders had accepted a bid of NZ$3.00 per share announced in June that year and Progressive became a wholly owned Group subsidiary. The bid placed a value on Progressive's businesses, excluding property holdings, of NZ$500 million.
In June 2002, Progressive acquired Woolworths (New Zealand), a supermarket operator then trading through 85 supermarkets under the Woolworths, Big Fresh and Price Chopper banners and through 26 outlets supplying groceries and petrol. The price paid was equivalent to an enterprise value for the business of NZ$690 million. ”
So, these “small, independent retailers” are associated with a massive international company, with massive buying power, and they want only to preserve their unfair trading advantage, that was provided to them, by a broken agreement.
It is unfortunate that these “small independent retailers”, that “cannot compete with the big companies”, as they “do not have the buying power of big companies”, could not at least be honest about who they are, and what they are, and, their real status.
I have been advised by what I believe to be a reliable source, that an agreement was made in the 1990's, that it would happen, “that shop owners should be allowed to decide when they open and close and to be free to respond to customers' needs.” , and that “the government of the day said that it needed to be phased in so smaller businesses had time to adjust. That freedom was given to smaller retailers , but never extended to the larger traders, hence we have seen some “privately owned grocery groups” boom in the absence of competition “after hours”. They are the chief opponents of other businesses being allowed to trade on weeknights and Sundays.”
Thus, a Western Australian state government had already agreed to deregulate trading hours in Western Australia, and that agreement was broken, to “protect” small traders, who have exploited the breaking of that agreement, and have sought to do whatever it takes, to prevent that agreement from being implemented, and to prevent consumers having the freedom of choice, and, in the case of Armadale, to harm Armadale, due to the effects mentioned above.
So, what guarantee do we have, that either major party, in government, will implement the outcome of the referendum on trading hours, when both sides have already said that trading hours will NOT be extended?
An example of the dishonesty and misrepresentation that has been used in the campaign against extending trading hours for all retailers, has come in a supermarket catalogue that we received today, Saturday 19 February 2005, from a local supermarket, with an advertisement opposing extending trading hours.
The advertisement to say no to extended trading hours, apart from not indicating who had authorised the misinformation, included the following statements.
“Our kids need real parents not casual carers. Whats (sic) happening at home when parents are forced to work longer hours?”
“We work to live – NOT live to work! Let's keep some time to enjoy life.”
“Our local centres will be battered by longer hours and big malls. NO gain – plenty of pain.”
More is less. Week nights and Sunday trading steals players and volunteers from our community.”
Longer hours in Perth will steam roll country WA. Everybody loses.”
What the advertisement fails to include, apart from whoever it is that authorised the deception and misrepresentation, is that the supermarket responsible for the advertisement, is a medium sized supermarket, probably employing at least the ten staff, and, its hours are “Open 7 days 8.00AM – 10.00PM”. Do its “less than 10 employees”, if it REALLY does have less than 10 employees, work 7 days a week, 14 hours a day? So, what about the effect of the trading hours of that supermarket, on its employees? And, where is the supermarket located? In a shopping centre, where the supermarket is the main trader. The supermarket is in Armadale, a suburb of Perth. Does it intend to stop trading in the evenings and on Sundays, for the reasons that it has published that shops should not be allowed to trade those hours? You've got to be joking.
The supermarket, like the other traders that oppose extending trading hours, simply wants to keep the unfair trading advantage that it has, and will make major misrepresentations, and, harm Armadale, and do whatever else it takes, to keep its unfair trading advantage.
So, the supermarket clearly does not believe in any of the reasons that it gives for preventing the extension of trading hours, and, is clearly using misrepresentation, to maintain its unfair advantage over other local retailers, and to cause harm to Armadale.
Once again, it is unfortunate that these people are not honest about the issues in the trading hours situation. I would not like to shop at those places. I prefer buying from someone that I can reasonably trust.
With the debacle involving the restrictive trading practices involved in the regulated trading hours in WA, and the short attention span of some WA voters, I thought that people should be aware of a few facts.
1. From http://abc.gov.au/news/stories/2008/03/12/2187010.htm?site=news ; "Premier promises to bring WA into the 21st century on trading hours. ...The Premier, Alan Carpenter, has told the ABC deregulated trading hours will be a key Labor Party platform heading into the next State election. ..."We will go to the next election with a policy of deregulating our trading hours, modernising our economy, bring Western Australia into the 21st century on this issue".
This led, surprise, surprise, to a massive backflip by the WA Labor Party.
2. From http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2009/07/16/iga-and-metcash-sign-landmark-agree ment-as-growth-plans-gather-pace.html ; "The IGA National Council announced the deal today, with Metcash - the owner of the IGA brand".
3. From http://www.metcash.com/index.cfm?page_id=2109 ; "Metcash Trading Limited Australasia (Metcash) is a leading marketing and distribution company operating in the food and other fast moving consumer goods categories. It has three Business Pillars - IGA Distribution, Campbells Cash & Carry and Australian Liquor Marketers.
Metcash is currently one of the best-performing stocks on the Australian market, a status that vindicates strategies put in place by management since Metro Cash and Carry South Africa acquired control of the business in 1998."4. From http://www.metro.co.za/ ; "METCASH AFRICA has extensive Wholesale and Franchise Retail interests in South Africa, and operates in five other African countries namely Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho".
So, IGA is part of a massive, overseas-owned, multinational corporation, probably bigger than Wesfarmers (that owns Coles) and Woolworths Australia, combined.
And, if you shop at IGA, you are supporting an establishment that assists Robert Mugabe, by trading in the contry that is subject to his corrupt dictatorship.
And, similarly, some political parties, like the WA National Party of Western Australia, that is partly funded by IGA, are partly funded by an establishment that assists Robert Mugabe, by trading in the contry that is subject to his corrupt dictatorship, and are thus assisting Robert Mugabe. Now, we see where the National Party of Western Australia, gets its policies.And, an example of how an overseas owned corporation has purchased policies from the National Party of Western Australia, see http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,26209513-2761,00.html .
"The National Party of Western Australia - proudly owned and controlled by overseas companies".
Now, ask yourself, how much funding does the Western Australian Labor Party receive from Metcash South Africa, via IGA, to buy policies, as with the National Party, that favour the overseas owned multinational corporation, to the detriment of Australian companies and to the detriment of Western Australians, and to deliberately reduce employment for Western Australians?
After all, the Labor Party/National Party coalition, which dominates the WA state parliament, is clearly working in the interests of only the overseas owned, multinational corporations, that have purchased their votes in the parliament.
So, who gets to buy the votes of the Labor Party, in parliament?
The article at
"Rudd keeps Labor Party donor names from public"
"PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan have refused to release documents under Freedom of Information laws that would reveal the Labor donors they met with as part of the business observers programs run at state and federal party conferences.
While Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has released such information under FOI, and also outside the act, Mr Rudd and Mr Swan are hiding behind exemptions that claim the documents relate to their party affairs and not government roles.
John Howard used a similar tactic.
Business observer programs are a lucrative fundraiser for the major parties, who allow business people to buy time with a minister to raise an issue. Invitations for the recent federal and state programs featured Mr Rudd and Mr Swan by their title. "
So, the Labor Party, apparently, hides from the public, that it is supposed to represent in parliament, who actually has purchased the votes of the Labor Party members of parliament.
It is interesting, how the decision of the Western Australian parliament, regarding trading hours in WA, is controlled, and, thence, the WA state parliament, is controlled, by overseas-owned, multinational corporations, that are probably far larger than the Australian corporations that are disadvantaged by the decisions made by the parliament that is apparently under the control of these overseas-owned, multinational corporations.
Maybe, one day, the people of WA will be able to elect a democratic parliament; government of the people, by the people, for the people, and, not be ruled by one that is controlled by foreign interests.
You might also want to visit and read the web page at
http://www.armadale-wa.net/politics/BriberyAndCorruption.html , which has even more information about what is involved in the regulation of trading hours in Western Australia.
In summary, the people of Armadale should be treated better than we have been. We should have a greater say in issues that affect us, and we should not be discriminated against because we live in Armadale.
This web page is authorised by Bret Busby, 2 Pelham Street Armadale.
I can be contacted by email by clicking on my name at the end of this sentence - Bret
This web page was last updated on 26 April 2016.