National News

Car yard operators to fight Sunday trading

Car yard and caravan operators are seeking to stop a Queensland government plan to let them open on Sundays, saying the move will not increase sales and could lead to staff resignations.

More than 90 per cent of members of the Motor Trades Association of Queensland and Caravanning Queensland oppose the introduction of seven-day trading.

MTA QLD chief executive Dr Brett Dale said the government's proposal to amend the legislation was a "no-win" situation for business owners and customers.

"It's convenience at a cost really," he told AAP on Tuesday.

"It's not going to increase sales.

"Cars are a bit like houses. They are planned, well-considered purchases."

Dr Dale said unlike many supermarket and furniture stores owned by large conglomerates, many MTA members were small business owners.

"Some of the big guys will be much better resourced to work on a Sunday," he said.

"They'll consume the sales from the much smaller dealerships."

But Dr Dale said the larger dealerships were also concerned about seven-day trading.

"They know if they're to keep a high level of service they need a high level of retention," he said.

The chief executive said the introduction of Sunday trading could lead to increased staff turnover, which might impact on customer service.

But he said the industries' opposition to the proposed trading laws had nothing to do with penalty rates because enterprise bargaining agreements were already in place to protect them.

Earlier this month the government announced its proposed changes to Queensland's Sunday trading laws, to make them less restrictive and confusing to customers.

The motor traders industry had one meeting with the government in October 2016, which it used to raise its concerns over the changes.

Dr Dale said he was advised a "much greater level of consultation" would follow, but instead he read about the draft legislation in a media release.

MTA QLD and Caravanning QLD members are being urged to voice their opposition to the proposed changes in written submissions and at public hearings to be held across the state next week.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said earlier this month the amendments could create up to 1000 new jobs and would cut red tape for businesses.

"No one will be made to work any of the additional hours allowed by the changes unless they have voluntarily agreed to do so," she said.

© AAP 2017

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