Shops in South Australia will be allowed to trade 24 hours a day each weekday under trading hours deregulation to be rushed into effect.
The move is designed to combat some of the pandemonium that has plagued supermarkets throughout the state since fears around the COVID-19 virus and its effects have started being felt in SA.
State Treasurer Rob Lucas told The Advertiser that “the government has been horrified by some of the scenes we have seen in the last couple of weeks,” and hopes that the change in shop trading hours “will reduce some of that mayhem.”
Under the new set of rules shops will be allowed to open their doors 24 hours a day from midnight Monday morning through to midnight on Friday night. Then, over the weekend shops will be allowed to open from 9am to 9pm.
The rules will be in place under special ministerial powers and will run for 30 days from this Saturday.
Trading will not be compulsory for any stores.
State Liberals have long been arguing for the ongoing deregulation of trading hours in South Australia.
Leaders tell Australians to stop panic-buying
The news comes after the Prime Minister, the Premier Steven Marshall and food industry bosses moved to calm citizens about the ongoing supply of essential items.
Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci told ABC’s 7.30 last night that “it’s unequivocally true that it’s a demand surge,” pointing to the huge current spike in demand as the reason behind the bare shelves in our supermarkets across the country.
“In essence, in the last week we’ve been asked to feed 50 million Australians, not 24.5 million Australians, and that is the big issue. So if everyone just bought what they needed, we would rapidly see full shelves again.”
“85 per cent of all food consumed in Australia is either grown or produced here, we do not have a supply issue.”