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Western Downs Regional Council against Sunday trading

OPPOSED: The Western Downs Regional Council is against having stores like Woolworths open on Sunday.
OPPOSED: The Western Downs Regional Council is against having stores like Woolworths open on Sunday.

WESTERN Downs Regional Council has made an initial decision to oppose an application for seven-day trading in Dalby.

Mayor Ray Brown said six councillors had voted to oppose the application by the National Retail Association in a flying minute last week.

"That has to be verified at the next council meeting," Cr Brown said.

He said the council had waited to consult the community before making its decision.

"I have a view but we need to know the community's view," CrBrown said.

It was not just about hearing from local business houses but also from consumers, Cr Brown said.

NRA chief executive officer Trevor Evans said the organisation believed there was broad support for seven-day trading in the Dalby community.

"Dalby is not the first town encountering this debate," Mr Evans said.

"What you find is when Sunday trading comes in it is not the end of the world. Business goes on. The retail landscape remains incredibly diverse."

Mr Evans said the community was missing out on dollars spent locally.

"A huge amount of local dollars are leaking out to neighbouring areas like Toowoomba," he said.

"Travelling is easier and cheaper than it ever has been."

He said Dalby needed to embrace seven-day trading, which was the norm.

"The reason retailers exist... is to meet the needs of the customers," Mr Evans said.

"As soon as retailers stop evolving and meeting the needs of customers... that's when they get into trouble.

"Those local businesses are training their customers to shop online."

Mr Evans presented to the council earlier this week.

Cr Brown remained opposed to opening local stores on Sunday, which he said should be a day to spend with family.

"It will take a lot for me to change," he said.

He said he would be "very surprised" if the council's position changed before Wednesday's meeting.

Topics:  council, dalby, seven day trading, western downs


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