Sunday Trading debate

The Retail Trading Hours Amendment Bill 2012 has passed the Legislative Assembly on 29 March 2012. It will now go to the upper house. Both the Labor and Liberal Parties voted in favour of the bill which deregulates trading hours making it possible for all shops to open Sunday. Southern River MP Peter Abetz, who abstained from voting on the bill, said that while he had no more than three emails in favour of the Bill, he had received probably 100 or more emails and letters from people who are very strongly opposed to the extension of trading hours.

The Labor Party moved an amendment to the bill to include Easter Sunday, along side Christmas Day, ANZAC Day and Good Friday as restricted trading days. This amendment was lost as the Liberal Party voted against it.

Moving the amendment. Labor Leader Mark McGowan said “I think Easter Sunday should be treated in the same way as Christmas Day, Anzac Day and Good Friday.” “I do not really see how adding another day, which is part of that Easter break that people generally enjoy, could be considered a huge impediment. The other point I make is that Easter Sunday has particular significance to people of Christian faith in Western Australia.”

In opposition to the amendment Troy Buswell said:  “Different groups have different days of observance. I was interested to discover this year that the wharfies have Melbourne Cup Day off.” “Our view is that Easter Sunday, notwithstanding its significance from the point of view of religious observance, is not a day that should be deemed off limits in terms of shops that can and cannot open.”

After the amendment was lost Mark McGowan said: “I do not understand why some members of the Liberal Party who express regularly in this place such grave concern about a range of issues to do with their religion did not vote in accordance with their conviction.”

“But people need to understand, and religious groups around Western Australia need to understand, what has just happened in this Parliament. This was not put to the government in an aggressive way or with any desire to undermine the intent of the legislation. All it was was an attempt to include Easter Sunday, a day when families get together and religious ceremonies are observed, which is part of that extended Easter period that is so important to so many families. People around Western Australia should understand that many Liberal Party members and most of the National Party defeated that intent on the part of the opposition.

To read the debate on Hansard March 29, 2012 click here.

To read Peter Abetz’s comments on the Bill (Hansard March 22 from page 16) click here.

POSTED 20 Apr 2012
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Sunday Trading

On 22 February 2012, the Retail Trading Hours Amendment Bill 2012 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly and if passed, Sunday trading will be allowed for all retail shops from 11am until 5pm.

Action: The Association for Reformed Political Action is calling for people to bring their concerns with Sunday Trading to their local member of parliament asking them to consider maintaining the Lord’s Day for God’s glory, and also because it is a blessing for society.

POSTED 24 Mar 2012

WA and Tassie Prostitution Bills

The Sunday Times, (March 25, 2012 pg9, Joe Spagnolo, Madam aids Pastor MP) reported that Christian Pastor and Member for Morley, Ian Britza accepted $1500 in donations from brothel owner Mary Anne Kenworthy. Britza said he would be supporting the Government bill to legalise prostution but that the donation did not influence his decision.

On March 21, 2012 the member for Carine, Tony Krsticevic MLA tabled a petition of 1078 signatures calling for the WA Prostitution Bill, which will legalise prostitution, to be heavily amended or rejected completely. The Labor Party has said it would oppose the bill while the Liberal Party members have been given a conscience vote.

The Attorney General, Christian Porter is said to be happy to work with the Labor Party to get the Government’s Prostitution laws through Parliament. Until now the Labor Party has said it would not support the bill. Fremantle MLA Adele Carles has gone to Sweden to dtermine whether the model used in that country could be adapted to WA.

Action: People are being asked to thank Tony Krsticevic for tabling this petition.

Action: people are encouraged to speak to their Labor Members of parliament urging them to maintain their opposition to the bill.

Meanwhile in Tasmania, the Attorney General Brian Wightman released a discussion paper on the Regulation of the Sex Industry. Submissions are due by 9 March. For more info and discussion paper click here.

Action: the Australian Christian Lobby, Association for Reformed Political Action, Saltshakers and other organisations say it is a good time to write to local MPs in WA and Tasmania.

Action: The ACL’s Make a Stand Website has launched the “Women are worth more” campaign for Tasmania in addition to the WA campaign of the same name. Send your local MP a letter using the Make a Stand website.

In the WA campaign as at 25 March 2012, 1207 people had sent a letter to their MP using this service.

In the tasmanian campaign as at 25 March 2012, 508 people had sent a letter to their MP using the Make a Stand website.

POSTED 6 Mar 2012
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Sunday trading

Warnar Spyker wrote a letter to the West Australian Feb 27 which expressed concern with the WA Labor Party and Liberal Party’s disregard of the 2005 referendum where just 37% of electors gave support to extended Sunday trading. He wrote that it was remarkable how our politicians flatly ignore the expressed will of the people on the issue of Sunday Trading. Both major parties are moving toward introducing Sunday Trading across WA. “I am convinced that Sunday Trading is to our community detriment,” Mr Spyker wrote.

Send letters of support or a new letter to: Letter to the Editor, WA Newspapers, GPO Box N1027 Perth WA 6843, fax 9482 3830 or (include full address and telephone number.) 

POSTED 6 Mar 2012
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Vietnam violence

Leaders of the 2200-member Agape Baptist Church (ABC) — a house church network near Hanoi — were violently assaulted on Sunday 13 November, Compass Direct News reports. They were meeting in Lai Tao village, Bot Xuyen commune, My Duc district at the home of evangelist Nguyen Thi Lan, a former Communist Party (female) official who recently converted to Christianity. Unhappy about conversions in the village, the gang of over a dozen local people (including plain-clothed police) burst in beating the leaders while looting and ransacking the home. For more read the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin

POSTED 23 Dec 2011
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WA Sunday Trading

People have until Nov 1 to respond the ‘incremental reform’ by the Barnett Govt to introduce more Sunday Trading in WA. The Barnett Government, which has indicated it plans to introduce Sunday Trading completely, following the next election, has released the ‘Whitegoods and Other Consumer Durables’ discussion paper. Commerce Minister Bill Marmion said consumers, retailers, local government bodies, universities or other interested parties were invited to take part in a public consultation. In the intro to the paper the Minister said that he believed it was in accordance with the changing attitudes and busy lifestyles of WA families.

From Nov 1, Armadale and Midland will become ‘special trading precincts’ and shops will be allowed to open Sunday.

For Marmion’s press release:

For the issues paper:

For more ways to respond to Sunday Trading:

To respond to issues paper:

The Director,
Legislation and Policy, Consumer Protection Division,
Department of Commerce,
Locked Bag 14, Cloisters Square, Perth, WA 6850

or email:

For more info call: 1300 136 237, or (08) 9282 0777.

POSTED 17 Oct 2010
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Sunday Trading

WA Commerce Minister Bill Marmion said people will have ‘more choice and flexibility’ as both Armadale and Midland become ‘special trading precincts’. He said the Sunday Trading will be in time for the busy Christmas period. The Govt will release a discussion paper on Sunday Trading in coming weeks as Premier Barnett continues his campaign to introduce Sunday Trading across the State. For the Minister’s Press release:

Commerce Minister’s contact details:

Address: 21st Floor, Governor Stirling Tower, 197 St Georges Terrace, PERTH WA 6000

Telephone: (08) 9222-9111

Fax: (08) 9222-9410

Barnett’s details:

Address: 24th Floor, Governor Stirling Tower, 197 St Georges Terrace, PERTH WA 6000

Telephone: (08) 9222 9888

Fax: (08) 9322 1213

Labor Candidate for Armadale By-election, Tony Buti:!/profile.php?id=638538835&v=wall&ref=ts

Tel: 9463 1420 or

POSTED 13 Oct 2010
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Sunday Trading

The Rockingham City Council is conducting a survey into people’s views in relation to Sunday Trading in Rockingham. For more information and to fill in the survey see the Weekend Courier Sept 17, 2010, p14:

or complete the survey at:

POSTED 17 Sep 2010

Sunday Trading

The Sunday Times’ is running a poll “What do you think of trading on Easter Sunday” and also a separate poll on extended Shopping hours.

As at July 22, 2010 58.64% (1721 votes) said they did not support trading on Easter Sunday.

In relation to the Shopping hours extended poll which asks if people want unrestricted Sunday Trading as at July 22, 2010, 63% (1682 votes) were in favour of unrestricted Sunday Trading.

To place your vote on these polls and other polls visit:

POSTED 26 Jul 2010
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Sunday Observance

The Dutch Christian Party with links to the Free Reformed Churches of the Netherlands, the ChristenUnie, has developed a petition calling for Sunday to be maintained as a day of rest to worship God. They hope to gather 1m signatures across Europe. ChristenUnie EU member Peter van Dalen said the petition was against shops being open on Sunday and called for the Sunday to be used for time with family and for attending church.

For more (in dutch):

POSTED 8 Mar 2010