I hate to say this, but my first impression upon arriving back in Perth after living for four years in Seattle in the United States was one of disappointment.
I just got out of hotel quarantine on a weekend in April 2021, and I found that practically all the shops were closed, our homeless people were struggling in the cold, and there was nothing to do in the evening.
Perth is meant to be the capital of our beloved state. We need to do better by it.
That is why, for my first use of non-government business, I will table a bill extending trading hours in the City of Perth.
My bill, the Retail Trading Hours Amendment Bill 2021, will extend trading hours in the City of Perth on Saturday from 8:00am – 5:00pm to 8:00am – 9:00pm, and on Sunday from 11:00am – 5:00pm to 8:00am – 5:00pm.
We have world class facilities in Perth – such as Optus Stadium and Elizabeth Quay – but our archaic trading hours don’t allow us to truly appreciate them.
I’m not asking for a radical change. All I want is for Western Australians to have the same level of choice as shoppers in other cities in Australia.
I’m pleased that the Mayor of Perth Basil Zempilas supports these changes. And I know that business and consumer groups have been lobbying for them as well.
I recognise that private members’ bills are an uphill battle in WA. But this isn’t about scoring political points. It’s about creating a modern and cosmopolitan city for when our state inevitably opens back up to the world.