The National Retail Association is a leader in the area of trading hours reform and we continue to work with governments in numerous states to achieve an appropriate balance between the needs of shoppers, workers, small businesses, large retailers and shopping centres.

Since existing trading hours regime came into place, the Australian retail landscape has changed dramatically, and consumers now have different expectations of when and how they will be able to shop. They also have greater choice than ever before, including the ability to shop from the comfort of their own lounge room or kitchen table.

The NRA believes the time has come to bring trading hours regulations into the 21st century, and to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of businesses, customers and employees in our fast-changing world. The NRA believes that this must occur in order to ensure that:

  • business owners are not unreasonably restrained from being able to trade;
  • customers are not unreasonably restrained in being able to shop as they want to;
  • population growth can be catered for; and
  • retailers are able to rise to the challenges of digital disruption and globalisation.
Summary Factsheet: Advocacy & Influence in 2019

Public holidays

Each state and territory has different allowed trading hours on public holidays and seasonal periods. These affect when stores can trade:

  • on and around Easter
  • on and around Christmas & Boxing Day
  • on and around New Years Eve
  • on state or federal public holidays, such as Anzac Day
  • Public holidays - Summary table

    See table below for 2019 or click here to download PDF

    See table below for 2020 or click here to download PDF

  • Public holidays - Factsheets
  • Public Holidays - Staff Entitlements

    Under the General Retail Industry Award 2010 and the Fast Food Industry Award 2010 (‘the Awards’) any work performed on any of the days listed as public holidays above (whether it is the actual, substituted, additional day or part-day) are paid at the appropriate public holiday penalty rate. Please refer to the NRA produced wage summaries for the current rates.

    The General Retail Industry Award 2010 also provides that employees may, by mutual agreement, receive in lieu of the appropriate public holiday penalty either:

    • An equivalent day or equivalent time off without loss of pay; or
    • An additional day or equivalent time as annual leave.

    There is not a similar provision under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010.

    Under the National Employment Standards (‘the NES’), employees are entitled to be absent on a public holiday unless the employer has requested the employee to work and the request is reasonable. An employee can only refuse a reasonable request to work if the employee’s refusal is reasonable.

    Factors that will be considered in determining whether a request or refusal is reasonable are:

    • The nature of the workplace (including its operational requirements) and the nature of the work performed by the employee;
    • The employee’s personal circumstances, including family responsibilities;
    • Whether the employee could reasonably expect to be requested to work on the public holiday;
    • Penalty rates payable;
    • The type of employment – full time, part time or casual;
    • Amount of notice given of the request to work;
    • The amount of notice given by an employee in advance in regard to refusing a request to work.

     

    Under the NES, if an employee is absent on a day or part-day that is a public holiday, the employer must pay the employee at the employee’s base rate of pay for their ordinary hours of work on that day or part day. This provision does not apply to casual employees or part time employees who are not ordinarily rostered to work. For example, a full-time employee may ordinarily work 8 hours on a particular public holiday but because of the holiday have only been rostered to work 4 hours. In this situation, the employee would be paid at public holiday rates for 4 hours and receive payment for the other 4 hours they would have ordinarily worked at ordinary rates of pay.

    Please note that if a public holiday falls on an employee’s non-working day, the employee is not entitled to any public holiday benefits under the Awards or the NES. This is a change to the public holiday entitlements under many of the old NAPSAs and pre-reform awards that often provided a day off in lieu or an extra day’s wages under these circumstances.

    For those employers who employ their employees under a pre-reform certified agreement, AWA, ITEA, workplace agreement or enterprise agreement you will need to refer to the terms of these instruments to determine how these employees need to be paid.

Trading hours per state

Each state and territory applies different trading hour restrictions on retailers, particularly on “non-exempt” stores.

  • ACT trading hours

    Trading hours restrictions in the Australian Capital Territory are deregulated except for public holidays.

    Trading hour legislation

    Public holidays

    If you need further assistance in understanding the classification of your business, and the impact this classification has on trading hours, please contact the NRA for clarification.

  • NSW trading hours

    Trading hours restrictions in NSW vary depending on the type of shop and the location of the shop.

    Follow these steps to work out what kind of shop you have, and when you can trade:

    1. Check the list of exempt shops to see if your shop is included in that list.
    2. If you are not included in the list of exempt shops, check the criteria for independent retail shops.
    3. If your shop doesn’t fit into either of those categories you are a non-exempt shop.

    If you need further assistance in understanding the classification of your business, and the impact this classification has on trading hours, please contact the NRA for clarification.

    Trading hour legislation

    NSW Retail Trading Act 2008 No. 49 >

    Tips on understanding NSW trading hour legislation >

     

    Public holidays

    See all NSW Public Holidays >

    Fair Trading NSW – Trading on Public Holidays >

     

    NSW classifications

    Exempt stores

    (ie shops exempted from trading hours regulation)

    The list of exempt shops includes:

    • Bazaars, fairs or markets if the bazaars, fairs or markets are conducted for charitable or public fundraising purpose;
    • Book shops
    • Cake and pastry shops;
    • Chemist shops;
    • Cooked provision shops;
    • Florist shops;
    • Fruit and vegetable shops;
    • Newsagencies;
    • Nurseries;
    • Pet shops;
    • Recorded music, video or dvd shops;
    • Restaurants, cafes or kiosks;
    • Seafood shops;
    • Shops ancillary to venues for playing sport or physical recreation;
    • Take-away food and drink shops;
    • Tobacconists shops;
    • Vehicle shops, vehicle service centres or petrol stationers

    TRADING HOURS: Unrestricted, but on a restricted trading day (ie Good Friday, Easter Sunday, prior to 1pm on ANZAC Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day) an exempted shop may only be staffed by persons who have freely elected to work on that day.

    Retailers operating in local authority areas which were exempted from public holiday restrictions under the former Section 89B of the Shops and Industries Act 1962 are also exempted from the Retail Trading Act 2008 and therefore do not need to apply for a separate exemption.


    Independent ‘small’ retail shops

    (ie small shops with partial or total exemptions from trading hours regulation)

    A small shop is defined as a shop where:

    • the number of people that own the shop does not exceed 2, or one corporation, and the owner or owners of the shop take profits from the business; and
    • the total number of employees engaged must not exceed a total of 4 regular employees, whether working at the same time or different times.

    The number of persons engaged in a small shop does not include:

    • The occupier or occupiers. If the occupier is a corporation, then 2 natural persons who are shareholders of the corporations; or
    • Any person engaged in an emergency during the absence from the shop for part of a day of a person who is engaged in the shop on that day; or
    • Any person engaged outside the normal working hours of any person engaged on a full-time basis.

    If the owner or a shop is a corporation, or a Director of a corporation and is engaged in another business, then it fails to comply with the definition of a small shop.

    TRADING HOURS: A small shop is exempted from any restrictions on trading hours.


    Non-exempt stores

    (ie large retail shops subject to trading hours restrictions)

    Non-exempt shops are not defined but the category includes large retailers operating supermarkets and department stores.

    New South Wales non-exempt stores only have restrictions on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.

  • NT trading hours

    Trading hours restrictions in the Northern Territory are deregulated except for public holidays.

    Public holidays

  • QLD trading hours

    Trading hours restrictions in Queensland vary depending on the type of shop and the location of the shop.

    Follow these steps to work out what kind of shop you have, and when you can trade:

    1. Check the list of exempt shops to see if your shop is included in that list.
    2. If you are not included in the list of exempt shops, check the criteria for independent retail shops.
    3. If your shop doesn’t fit into either of those categories you are a non-exempt shop.

    If you need further assistance in understanding the classification of your business, and the impact this classification has on trading hours, please contact the NRA for clarification.

    Trading hour legislation

    QLD Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 >

    Trading (Allowable Hours) Regulation 2014 No.193 >

    Tips on understanding QLD trading hour legislation >

     

    Public holidays

    See all QLD Public Holidays >

     

    QLD classifications

    Exempt stores

    (ie shops exempted from trading hours regulation)

    Exempt shops are listed in section 5 of the Act. An exempt shop is a shop described in the section that is used predominantly for selling goods by retail or for supplying services that a reasonable person would expect to be sold or supplied in that shop.
    The list includes:

    (a) antique shop; or
    (b) art gallery; or
    (c) aquarium and aquarium accessories shop; or
    (d) arts and crafts shop; or
    (e) bait and tackle shop; or
    (f ) bookseller’s shop, newsagent’s shop, railway bookstall; or
    (g) bread shop, cake shop, pastry shop; or
    (h) camping equipment shop; or
    (i) chemist shop; or
    (j) confectionary shop; or
    (k) cooked provisions shop where the provisions are cooked
    or heated on the premises immediately before sale; or
    (l) delicatessen; or
    (m) fish shop; or
    (n) flower shop; or
    (o) fruit shop, vegetable shop, fruit and vegetable shop; or
    (p) funeral director’s premises; or
    (q) hairdresser’s, beautician’s or barber shop; or
    (r) ice-cream parlour; or
    (s) licensed premises under the Liquor Act 1992 or the Wine Industry Act 1994; or
    (t) marine shop; or
    (u) milk bar; or
    (v) nursery (plant) shop for selling garden plants and shrubs, seeds, garden and landscaping supplies or equipment and associated products; or
    (w) pet shop; or
    (x) photographic shop; or
    (y) premises in relation to which a pawnbrokers licence under the Pawnbrokers Act 1984 is in force; or
    (z) restaurant, cafe, refreshment shop; or
    (za) service station; or
    (zb) shop of a class declared by regulation to be a class of exempt shop; or
    (zc) shop for selling motor vehicle spare parts or motorcycle spare parts or both; or
    (zd) soap shop; or (ze) souvenir shop; or
    (zf ) sporting goods shop; or
    (zg) temperance beverages shop; or
    (zh) tobacconist’s shop; or (zi) toy shop; or
    (zj) veterinary supplies shop; or
    (zk) video cassette shop (blank or prerecorded).

    TRADING HOURS: Unrestricted
    (i.e. they are “exempt” from trading hours restrictions on any day of the year as none are prescribed in the Act).


    Independent retail shops

    (ie small shops with partial or total exemptions from trading hours regulation)

    Independent retail shops are defined at Section 6 of the Act.  They may sell any type of good.  There are a number of criteria for a shop to be classified as an independent retail shop but the most commonly relied on criteria is that such shops are run by a single operator or a proprietary company and where no more than 20 persons are engaged in the shop at any one time or, where a number of shops are operated, a maximum of 60 persons throughout the State are engaged.  Additionally, the business for which the shop if maintained must be wholly owned by a person, or by persons in partnership, or by a proprietary company, that is not a related body corporate.

    TRADING HOURS: Unrestricted, except for closure on 25 December (Christmas Day) and Good Friday and until 1:00pm on 25 April (ANZAC Day).  Independent retail shops that are predominantly food and/or grocery shops are totally unrestricted.


    Non-exempt stores

    (ie large retail shops subject to trading hours restrictions)

    Non-exempt shops are not defined but the category includes large retailers operating supermarkets and department stores.

    The trading hours for non-exempt shops are decided by the QIRC. The QIRC is not permitted to decide trading hours that are less than those in the Trading Hours Act as follows:

    • 8am to 9am Monday to Friday; and
    • 8am to 5pm for Saturday.

    No hours are prescribed for public holidays or for Sundays, making them closed days.

    The hours prescribed in the Act are the trading hours for non-exempt shops throughout Queensland unless that QIRC has decided in an order to allow longer hours.

    For the South-East Queensland area, the Trading Hours Act also prescribes additional allowable trading hours of 9am to 6pm on Sundays and most public holidays (ie Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Anzac Day, Labour Day and Christmas Day are closed days).

    Extended trading hours have been established by QIRC order in most of the major population and tourist areas of the state, allowing trading on seven days per week including most public holidays. Commonly the hours allowed in these seven day trade areas are:

    • 8am to 9pm for Monday to Friday;
    • 8am to 5pm/5:30pm for Saturday; and
    • 9am to 6pm/8:30am to 5:30pm for Sundays and most public holidays.
    • Good Friday, 25 April, Labour Day and 25 December are closed days.

    The QIRC has made other order for specific classes of non-exempt shops. For example:

    • Shops selling motor vehicles (in the majority of the state) may trade 8am – 9pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm Saturday but must remain closed on Sundays and public holidays; and
    • Shops selling caravans may trade 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Saturday but must remain closed on Sundays and public holidays.

    QIRC orders can also permit special displays or exhibitions to be conducted outside the hours that shops selling those goods would normally be permitted to trade (eg on a Sunday, public holiday or late night).

    The QIRC also makes orders permitting extended trading hours in the 4 weeks prior to Christmas each year.

     

    Previous NRA outcomes on Queensland trading hours

    QIRC Decisions allowing Sunday/Public Holiday and other extensions of trading hours for Non-Exempt shops in specified areas.

    Year of Decision Details of Area
    1988
    • Brisbane City Heart.
    1992
    • Gold Coast Area.
    1994
    • Sunshine Coast Area.
    1995
    • Townsville CBD
    • Cairns Tourist Area.
    1999
    • Douglas Shire Tourist Area.
    2000
    • Whitsunday Tourist Area
    • New Farm Area.
    2001
    • Inner City of Brisbane
    • Brisbane City (Local Government Area)
    2002 In 2002, legislation was passed to improve the QIRC Brisbane City decision i.e. Sunday/ public holiday trading in the south-east Queensland area. Establishes new area (from Noosa to Gold Coast and west to Amberley) within which non-exempt shops can open from 9am-6pm on Sundays and most public holidays.
    2003
    • Hervey Bay (Application failed in part for Yeppoon and Capricorn Coast)
    2004
    • Townsville CBD area expanded (North Ward) and renamed Townsville Tourist Area.
    • Cairns Tourist Area expanded (Clifton Beach and Mt Sheridan).
    • Failed application to expand South East Queensland area North to Bundaberg and West to include Toowoomba, Warwick and Stanthorpe. Appeal dismissed.
    • 24 hour trading on 23 December (from 8am on 23/12 to 9pm on 24/12) for the Westfield Chermside Shopping Complex. Granted for 2003, 2004 & 2005 only. (Similar applications for Indooroopilly, Robina and Pacific Fair refused)
    2005
    • Cairns Tourist Area expanded (Redlynch).
    • Whitsunday Tourist Area expanded (Cannonvale).
    2006
    • South East Queensland area expanded to include Nambour and Beerwah.
    • Trading from 8am 23 Dec to 9pm 24 Dec at Westfield Chermside.
    2007
    • Townsville and Thuringowa
    • Yeppoon
    • South East Queensland area expanded to include Beaudesert
    • Cairns (Redlynch)
    • Supermarkets in Brisbane City Heart
    2008
    • Failed application at Mackay. Appeal orders rehearing. See 2010 below.
    2009
    • Moranbah
    • Expand Douglas Shire Tourist Area to include Mossman and extended hours for supermarkets in Port Douglas
    • South East Queensland area expanded to include Woolworths at Cooloola (Application failed in part for Gympie and Cooroy)
    • Rockhampton
    2010
    • Toowoomba
    • Mackay
    • Failed application at Mt Isa
    • Edmonton (Cairns Tourist area)
    • Failed application at Woodford
    • Failed application at Mission Beach and Bargara
    • Gold Coast – supermarkets on coastal strip 7-10 Mon-Sat & 8-8 Sun/pub hols
    2011
    • Failed application at Warwick
    • Innisfail
    • Emerald
    • Cairns CBD Supermarkets – open till 9pm Saturdays and Sundays
    • Failed application at Kingaroy
    • Gladstone
    • Tablelands (Mareeba and Atherton)
    • South East Queensland area expanded to include Fernvale, Plainland and Gatton
    • New Farm – 7am-9pm every day including public holidays
    • Failed application for amalgamation of Townsville/Thuringowa
    2012
    • City Heart of Inner City of Brisbane – opening time 7am weekdays (Application failed in part re: 7pm Saturday closing Inner City of Brisbane)
    • Bundaberg (which includes Elliot Heads, Bundaberg and Bargara)
    • Failed application to create Sunshine Coast Coastal Tourist area with 9pm closing every day
    • Fraser Coast
    • Gympie
    • Failed application at Ingham
    • Application for 7am-7pm trading in SEQ area discontinued by NRA
    • Biloela
    • Failed application at Ayr
    • South East Queensland area expanded to include Woodford
    2013
    • Dismissed application by NRA to allow trading hours 8am – midnight 23 December and 12am – pm 24 December
    2014
    • Inner City of Brisbane (7am-9pm Mon-Fri, & 7am-7pm Sat) and include Petrie Terrace and Kelvin Grove.
    • Ipswich CBD (7am-9pm Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm Sat, 9am-6pm Sun and certain public holidays)
    • Toowong (7am-9pm Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm Sat, 9am-6pm Sun and certain public holidays)
    • New Cairns CBD Area (8am-9pm Mon to Sat, 9am-9pm Sunday and 8.30am-5.30pm Pub Hols)
    • Marian in Mirani Shire.
    • Townsville Tourist Area (Mon-Sat 7am-9pm, Sun 9am-6pm, certain public holidays 8.30am-5.30pm)
    • Extended trading on 23 and 24 December each year for non-exempt shops within the Westfield Garden City Shopping Complex
    2015
    • New Farm area (7am-9pm Mon-Sun) to include Newstead
    • Hamilton North Shore area to 6am-10pm Mon-Fri, 7am-10pm Saturday 7-9pm Sunday and public holidays
    • Emu Park Tourist Area
    • Dalby
    • Failed application for Mt Isa
    • Extend the Gold Cost Coastal Tourist Area (2010) to include parts of Southport and Burleigh Heads
    • Failed application for Goondiwindi
    • Trading on Monday, 28 December 2015 in regional areas without 7 day trading
    2016
    • South East Queensland Area 7am-9pm Monday to Saturday
    • Ingham

     

  • SA trading hours

    Trading hours restrictions in South Australia vary depending on the type of shop and the location of the shop.

    Follow these steps to work out what kind of shop you have, and when you can trade:

    1. Check the list of exempt shops to see if your shop is included in that list.
    2. If you are not included in the list of exempt shops, check the criteria for small shops.
    3. If your shop doesn’t fit into either of those categories you are a non-exempt shop.

     

    Trading hour legislation

    Trading hours for retailers in South Australian shopping districts are regulated by the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 and Shop Trading Hours Regulations 2018.

    Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 >

    SA Shop Trading Hours Regulation 2018 >

    SafeWork SA – Advice on shop trading arrangements >

     

    Public holidays

    Public and bank holidays in South Australia are prescribed by the Holidays Act 1910.

    See all SA Public Holidays >

    Australia Day 2020

    Sunday, 26 January 2020 will be a normal Sunday trading day for non-exempt shops i.e. 11am to 5pm in the CBD and suburbs. The public holiday will be observed on Monday, 27 January 2020 which also means public holiday trading restrictions are conferred to that day i.e. 11am to 5pm in the CBD, but stores in the suburbs must remain closed.

    Easter 2020

    Adelaide Suburbs                                                        Adelaide CBD

    Good Friday – Closed                                                  Good Friday – Closed

    Easter Saturday – until 5.00 pm                                Easter Saturday – until 5.00 pm

    Easter Sunday – Closed                                              Easter Sunday – 11.00 am to 5.00 pm

    Easter Monday – Closed                                             Easter Monday – 11.00 am to 5.00 pm

    Anzac Day 2020

    All non-exempt shops in the Adelaide suburbs must be closed on Saturday 25 April 2020. CBD shops can trade from 12 noon to 5.00 pm.

    SA classifications

    Exempt stores

    (ie shops exempted from trading hours regulation)

    Shops outside the Greater Adelaide Shopping District (Central Business Tourist District, the Metropolitan Shopping District, and the Glenelg Tourist Precinct) and also outside the 35 Proclaimed Shopping Districts (country areas) are exempt and can trade when they choose, including on all public holidays.

    Other shops are exempt by virtue of the type of goods they sell or because they are smaller than a certain size.  These shops can also trade when they choose, including on all public holidays.

    The list of exempt shops includes:

    • A shop with a floor area not exceeding 200m2, that does not adjoin a building used as a storeroom with a floor area greater than one-half the floor area of the shop.
    • A shop selling foodstuffs (eg a supermarket) with a floor area not exceeding 400m2, that does not adjoin a building used as a storeroom with a floor area greater than one-half the floor area of the shop.
    • Any of the following types of shop (regardless of size):
      • Cafes, restaurants and take-away food
      • Service stations, licenced under Section 17 of the Act, selling a range of goods common to service stations which could include goods generally stocked by convenience stores
      • Hairdressers
      • ten pin bowling alleys, squash centres and golf courses
      • antiques, other than coins or stamps
      • live fish and aquariums etc.
      • paintings and crafts
      • bookshops and newsagents
      • pharmacies
      • cosmetics
      • medical and surgical appliances
      • florists
      • non-alcoholic drinks, ice-cream, confectionery or light refreshments
      • pets and accessories
      • plant nurseries
      • souvenirs
      • tobacconists
      • cash-and-carry wholesale warehouses
      • horticultural or agricultural shows
      • short-term charitable, religious or benevolent sponsored
      • agricultural machinery
      • fine art, either by auction or on commission
      • caravans and/or trailers
      • hire rather than sale of goods, such as video hire, machinery hire etc.

    Special trading exemptions may be granted or declared on a temporary basis either on the initiative of the Treasurer or by applying to the Treasurer’s office.


    Independent ‘small’ retail shops

    (ie small shops with partial or total exemptions from trading hours regulation)

    There is no specific category of small shop in South Australia, but the definition of exempt shop (unrestricted trading) includes businesses that meet the following criteria:

    • A shop with a floor area not exceeding 200m2, that does not adjoin a building used as a storeroom with a floor area greater than one-half the floor area of the shop.
    • A shop selling foodstuffs (eg a supermarket) with a floor area not exceeding 400m2, that does not adjoin a building used as a storeroom with a floor area greater than one-half the floor area of the shop.

    Non-exempt stores

    (ie large retail shops subject to trading hours restrictions)

    South Australia regulates large shop trading hours in the Greater Adelaide Shopping District (CBD Tourist Precinct, Metropolitan Shopping District and Glenelg Tourist Precinct) and in 35 Proclaimed Shopping Districts in country area.  All shops outside those area are exempt and can trade when they choose, including on all public holidays.

    Non-exempt shops in the CBD Tourist Precinct can trade:

    • until 9pm on weekdays, including part-day public holidays that fall on a weekday
    • until 5pm on Saturdays, including Easter Saturday
    • from 11am to 5pm on Sundays or full-day public holidays, but not on Good Friday, 25 December or before 12 noon on 25 April.

    Non-exempt shops in the Metropolitan Shopping District and the Glenelg Tourist Precinct can trade:

    • until 9pm on weekdays, including part-day public holidays that fall on a weekday
    • until 5pm on Saturdays, including Easter Saturday
    • from 11am to 5pm on Sundays, but not Easter Sunday
    • but not on any full-day public holiday, except Easter Saturday.

    Non-exempt shops in a Proclaimed Shopping District can trade:

    • until 6pm on weekdays, except Thursdays
    • until 9pm on Thursdays, including part-day public holidays that fall on a Thursday
    • until 5pm on Saturdays, but not Easter Saturday
    • but not on Sundays or any full-day public holiday.

    If your shop solely or predominantly sells boats and/or motor vehicles in the Greater Adelaide Shopping District or a Proclaimed Shopping District you can trade:

    • until 6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
    • until 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays, including part-day public holidays that fall on those days
    • until 5pm on Saturdays, but not Easter Saturday
    • but not on Sundays or any full-day public holiday.

    If your shop sells hardware and building materials, furniture, floor coverings or motor vehicle parts and accessories in the Greater Adelaide Shopping District or a Proclaimed Shopping District, and has more than 200m² of retail floor area, you can trade:

    • until 9pm on weekdays, including part-day public holidays that fall on a weekday
    • until 5pm on Saturdays, including Easter Saturday
    • from 9am to 5pm on Sundays and full-day public holidays, but not on Good Friday, 25 December or before 12 noon on 25 April.

    Shops selling caravans are listed as one of the list of shops exempted from trading hours regulations.

    The Minister may grant or declare special trading exemptions from the operation of the Act.

     

    If you need further assistance in understanding the classification of your business, and the impact this classification has on trading hours, please contact the NRA for clarification.

  • TAS trading hours

    Trading hours restrictions in Tasmania vary depending on the type of shop and the location of the shop.

    Follow these steps to work out what kind of shop you have, and when you can trade:

    1. Check the list of exempt shops to see if your shop is included in that list.
    2. If you are not included in the list of exempt shops, check the criteria for small shops.
    3. If your shop doesn’t fit into either of those categories you are a non-exempt shop.

    If you need further assistance in understanding the classification of your business, and the impact this classification has on trading hours, please contact the NRA for clarification.

    Trading hour legislation

    TAS Shop Trading Hours Act 1984 >

     

    Public holidays

    See all TAS Public Holidays >

     

    TAS classifications

    Exempt stores

    (ie shops exempted from trading hours regulation)

    The trading hours of certain retail shops are exempted from regulation by the legislation including shops at sports events, agricultural shows, fetes, bazaars, markets or trade exhibitions, car yards and shops selling motor vehicle spare parts, shops at which property auctions are conducted, shops at which liquor is the principal class of goods sold, shops that sell cooked food (eat-in or take-away), service stations and hairdressing shops.

    Additional exemptions apply on ANZAC Day for:

    • A pharmacy; or
    • A newsagency; or
    • a shop that is not part of a shopping centre, plaza or mall and the number of persons engaged at the shop does not exceed 10; or
    • a shop, or a class or group of shops that the Minister, by order, has declared may be kept open before 12:30pm on ANZAC Day.

    It is an offence to require an employee to work on ANZAC Day (or any other public holiday) without the employee’s written agreement.


    Independent ‘small’ retail shops

    (ie small shops with partial or total exemptions from trading hours regulation)

    There is no category of small shop in Tasmania.

    It should be noted that there is an exemption from closure on Anzac Day for a shop that is not part of a shopping centre, plaza or mall and the number of persons engaged at the shop does not exceed 10.

    Further, shops (other than exempted shops) that are retailers or franchise groups employing more than 250 employees must not be kept open at any time on Christmas Day or on Good Friday.


    Non-exempt stores

    (ie large retail shops subject to trading hours restrictions)

    Non-exempt shops are not defined but the category includes large retailers operating supermarkets and department stores.

    Tasmanian non-exempt stores only have restrictions on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.

  • VIC trading hours

    Trading hours restrictions in Victoria vary depending on the type of shop and the location of the shop.

    Follow these steps to work out what kind of shop you have, and when you can trade:

    1. Check the list of exempt shops to see if your shop is included in that list.
    2. If you are not included in the list of exempt shops, check the criteria for small shops.
    3. If your shop doesn’t fit into either of those categories you are a non-exempt shop.

    If you need further assistance in understanding the classification of your business, and the impact this classification has on trading hours, please contact the NRA for clarification.

    Trading hour legislation

    VIC Shop Trading Reform Act 1996 >

     

    Public holidays

    See all VIC Public Holidays >

     

    VIC classifications

    Exempt stores

    (ie shops exempted from trading hours regulation)

    Exempt shops are businesses that meet the following criteria:

    1. They have 20 or fewer persons employed in the shop at any time during a restricted trading day; and
    2. The number of persons employed in the business and its related entities is no more than 100 at any time during the seven days immediately before a restricted trading day.

    Certain types of businesses are also exempt from trading hours restrictions.  They can open whenever they wish throughout the year.  The types of businesses that are exempt are:

    • Chemists;
    • Petrol shops;
    • Restaurants;
    • Cafes;
    • Takeaway outlets;
    • Service providers;
    • Hire outlets (including video stores).

    TRADING HOURS: Unrestricted.


    Independent ‘small’ retail shops

    (ie small shops with partial or total exemptions from trading hours regulation)

    There is no specific category of small shops in Victoria, but the definition of exempt shops (unrestricted trading) includes businesses that meet the following criteria:

    • They have 20 or fewer persons employed in the shop at any time during a restricted trading day; and

    The number of persons employed by the business and its related entities is no more than 100 at any time during the seven days immediately before a restricted trading day (ie Good Friday, Christmas Day and between 12:01am and 1pm on Anzac Day).

    TRADING HOURS: A small shop is exempted from any restrictions on trading hours.


    Non-exempt stores

    (ie large retail shops subject to trading hours restrictions)

    Non-exempt shops are not defined but the category includes large retailers operating supermarkets and department stores.

    Victorian non-exempt stores only have restrictions on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.

  • WA trading hours

    Trading hours restrictions in Western Australia vary depending on the type of shop and the location of the shop.

    If you need further assistance in understanding the classification of your business, and the impact this classification has on trading hours, please contact the NRA for clarification.

     

    Trading hour legislation

    WA Retail Trading Hours Regulations 1988 >

     

    Public holidays

    See all WA Public Holidays >

     

    WA classifications

    In Western Australia, trading hours regulation applies to shops south of the 26th parallel.  The trading hours of restaurants, cafes and takeaway food shops are not covered by the Act.

    All shops are regarded as general retail shops unless they fall under any one of the other categories including:

    • small retail shops;
    • special retail shops;
    • filling – service stations; or
    • motor vehicle shops

    General retail shops

    • Trading hours for general retail shops in the Perth metropolitan area are:
      • 8:00am to 9:00pm on Monday to Friday; and
      • 8:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday; and
      • 11:00am to 5:00pm on Sunday; and
      • 11:00am to 5:00pm on public holidays; but
      • Closed on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.
    • Trading hours for general retail shops not in the Perth metropolitan area are:
      • 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and
      • 8:00am to 9:00pm Thursday; and
      • 8:00am to 5:00pm Saturday; and
      • closed Sunday and public holidays.
    • Trading hours for a motor vehicle shop are:
      • 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday; and
      • 8:00am to 9:00pm Wednesday; and 8:00am to 1:00pm Saturday; and
      • closed on Sunday and public holidays.
    • Hardware and home improvement shops are defined as special retail shops and may trade 6am to 11:30pm every day of the year.

    The Minister may make orders varying the opening and closing times of retail shops and fixing the closing times of general retail shops in holiday resorts.  Extended trading permits from the Department of Commerce are available for swap meets, trade fairs and industry expos.


    Small retail shops

    ‘Small retail shops’ are shops owned by up to six people who operate no more than four retail shops, in which up to 25 people work at any one time.  Small retail shops may sell any goods other than motor vehicles.

    Trading hours in small retail shops are unrestricted.


    Special retail stores

    Special retail shops are considered necessary for emergency, convenience or recreation goods.  They may trade between 6:00am – 11:30pm every day of the year. Special retail shops include:

    • 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.

    Service stations

    Filling (petrol/service) station trading hours are deregulated in all areas.  There are restrictions on the range of non-petroleum goods which may be sold from filling stations after general retail shop trading hours.  The range of goods approved will depend on the corporate circumstances of each business.  A more expansive range of goods is available to small filling stations:

    • owned by up to six people who collectively operate no more than three filling stations; and
    • in which a maximum of 10 people work at any time.

NRA action on trading hours

 

  • Special event applications

    In some cases, retailers can apply for permission to trade longer hours during local festivals or significant events.

    The NRA has assisted multiple retailers with these applications, most recently achieving extended trading hours for retailers for:

    • Commonwealth Games
    • Mt Isa Rodeo
    • local shows & festivals in Chinchilla and Ayr

    Contact our team if you are currently prohibited from trading certain hours, and would like to find out more about applying for extended trading hours.

  • Trading hour submissions

     

    Previous NRA outcomes on Queensland trading hours

    QIRC Decisions allowing Sunday/Public Holiday and other extensions of trading hours for Non-Exempt shops in specified areas.

    Year of Decision Details of Area
    1988
    • Brisbane City Heart.
    1992
    • Gold Coast Area.
    1994
    • Sunshine Coast Area.
    1995
    • Townsville CBD
    • Cairns Tourist Area.
    1999
    • Douglas Shire Tourist Area.
    2000
    • Whitsunday Tourist Area
    • New Farm Area.
    2001
    • Inner City of Brisbane
    • Brisbane City (Local Government Area)
    2002 In 2002, legislation was passed to improve the QIRC Brisbane City decision i.e. Sunday/ public holiday trading in the south-east Queensland area. Establishes new area (from Noosa to Gold Coast and west to Amberley) within which non-exempt shops can open from 9am-6pm on Sundays and most public holidays.
    2003
    • Hervey Bay (Application failed in part for Yeppoon and Capricorn Coast)
    2004
    • Townsville CBD area expanded (North Ward) and renamed Townsville Tourist Area.
    • Cairns Tourist Area expanded (Clifton Beach and Mt Sheridan).
    • Failed application to expand South East Queensland area North to Bundaberg and West to include Toowoomba, Warwick and Stanthorpe. Appeal dismissed.
    • 24 hour trading on 23 December (from 8am on 23/12 to 9pm on 24/12) for the Westfield Chermside Shopping Complex. Granted for 2003, 2004 & 2005 only. (Similar applications for Indooroopilly, Robina and Pacific Fair refused)
    2005
    • Cairns Tourist Area expanded (Redlynch).
    • Whitsunday Tourist Area expanded (Cannonvale).
    2006
    • South East Queensland area expanded to include Nambour and Beerwah.
    • Trading from 8am 23 Dec to 9pm 24 Dec at Westfield Chermside.
    2007
    • Townsville and Thuringowa
    • Yeppoon
    • South East Queensland area expanded to include Beaudesert
    • Cairns (Redlynch)
    • Supermarkets in Brisbane City Heart
    2008
    • Failed application at Mackay. Appeal orders rehearing. See 2010 below.
    2009
    • Moranbah
    • Expand Douglas Shire Tourist Area to include Mossman and extended hours for supermarkets in Port Douglas
    • South East Queensland area expanded to include Woolworths at Cooloola (Application failed in part for Gympie and Cooroy)
    • Rockhampton
    2010
    • Toowoomba
    • Mackay
    • Failed application at Mt Isa
    • Edmonton (Cairns Tourist area)
    • Failed application at Woodford
    • Failed application at Mission Beach and Bargara
    • Gold Coast – supermarkets on coastal strip 7-10 Mon-Sat & 8-8 Sun/pub hols
    2011
    • Failed application at Warwick
    • Innisfail
    • Emerald
    • Cairns CBD Supermarkets – open till 9pm Saturdays and Sundays
    • Failed application at Kingaroy
    • Gladstone
    • Tablelands (Mareeba and Atherton)
    • South East Queensland area expanded to include Fernvale, Plainland and Gatton
    • New Farm – 7am-9pm every day including public holidays
    • Failed application for amalgamation of Townsville/Thuringowa
    2012
    • City Heart of Inner City of Brisbane – opening time 7am weekdays (Application failed in part re: 7pm Saturday closing Inner City of Brisbane)
    • Bundaberg (which includes Elliot Heads, Bundaberg and Bargara)
    • Failed application to create Sunshine Coast Coastal Tourist area with 9pm closing every day
    • Fraser Coast
    • Gympie
    • Failed application at Ingham
    • Application for 7am-7pm trading in SEQ area discontinued by NRA
    • Biloela
    • Failed application at Ayr
    • South East Queensland area expanded to include Woodford
    2013
    • Dismissed application by NRA to allow trading hours 8am – midnight 23 December and 12am – pm 24 December
    2014
    • Inner City of Brisbane (7am-9pm Mon-Fri, & 7am-7pm Sat) and include Petrie Terrace and Kelvin Grove.
    • Ipswich CBD (7am-9pm Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm Sat, 9am-6pm Sun and certain public holidays)
    • Toowong (7am-9pm Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm Sat, 9am-6pm Sun and certain public holidays)
    • New Cairns CBD Area (8am-9pm Mon to Sat, 9am-9pm Sunday and 8.30am-5.30pm Pub Hols)
    • Marian in Mirani Shire.
    • Townsville Tourist Area (Mon-Sat 7am-9pm, Sun 9am-6pm, certain public holidays 8.30am-5.30pm)
    • Extended trading on 23 and 24 December each year for non-exempt shops within the Westfield Garden City Shopping Complex
    2015
    • New Farm area (7am-9pm Mon-Sun) to include Newstead
    • Hamilton North Shore area to 6am-10pm Mon-Fri, 7am-10pm Saturday 7-9pm Sunday and public holidays
    • Emu Park Tourist Area
    • Dalby
    • Failed application for Mt Isa
    • Extend the Gold Cost Coastal Tourist Area (2010) to include parts of Southport and Burleigh Heads
    • Failed application for Goondiwindi
    • Trading on Monday, 28 December 2015 in regional areas without 7 day trading
    2016
    • South East Queensland Area 7am-9pm Monday to Saturday
    • Ingham

     

  • NRA Trading Hours Committee

    The NRA Trading Hours Committee is a group of regulatory compliance specialists from many of Australia’s major retailers who come together to discuss regulations and policy regarding trading hours and public holidays.

    The Committee is an important forum for contributing to retail industry policy. The Committee communicates regularly with government, conveying the issues and concerns of the retail sector.

    Get involved

    If you are interested in becoming a Committee Member, meetings are held twice a year in Sydney or Melbourne.

    Please contact David Stout at policy@nra.net.au for more details.

Contact our team

David Stout

David Stout

Director Policy National Retail Association
David is a highly-respected senior executive across a wide range of retail sectors including corporate affairs, operations, customer insights, finance, procurement, risk and regulation, stakeholder engagement, community and supply chain.  He is favourably regarded as a bipartisan and ethical operative in best practice across retail and corporate industry, regional and urban councils, local and state governments, and is currently involved in multiple advisory groups / committees.
Ebony Johnson

Ebony Johnson

Project Manager, Policy National Retail Association
As Project Manager in the Policy team, Ebony brings a strong background across the retail and hospitality sectors in project management, stakeholder relations, marketing, events and communications. Ebony provides project management expertise to multiple projects, including NRA’s bag ban programs, sustainability, product safety, retail crime and committees.

Meeting consumer demand

with fair trading hour laws