“Our antiquated Easter trading laws are ready for an overhaul and the Government needs to adopt my Member’s Bill to do just that,” says ACT's Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie.
“As a small business owner, I know the pain that many businesses feel when they’re forced to close over Easter or enforce silly rules around whether adults can have a pint with lunch.
“My Member’s Bill will remove the extra burden on businesses by relieving the idiotic restrictions on trading on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
“It’s quite simple – if you want to trade, you can. That’s how a free society should operate. The Bill also looks after workers as it retains the existing employee protections that apply in respect of Easter Sunday and extends these protections to Good Friday.
“It just doesn’t make sense that bar staff spend much of Easter telling customers when they can drink, how long they have to drink it, how much they are required to eat, and what they have to eat. How about we start treating adults like adults?
“At my restaurant and bar in Nelson, our staff have to lecture adults about how they can have a glass of wine with a salad but not with a bowl of fries. It’s madness.
“We’ve just opened our borders up to the first wave of Australian tourists in years. We should be encouraging them to get out and spend as much of their money in our bars and restaurants as possible. Our hospitality sector deserves it.
“Pushing the enforcement of the law down to local councils is weak and a waste of their time. We should simply scrap the laws and stop forcing councils to waste their time trying to punish businesses simply trying to turn a profit.
“ACT has employers’ backs and knows that owning and running a business is hard work and high risk. Let’s be sensible and create laws which allow businesses to thrive, not add unnecessary pressure and regulations.”