MAJOR stores in Stanthorpe will be able to trade on Sundays and public holidays from next month.
The announcement follows a landmark decision by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
The QIRC has ruled in favour of applications from the National Retail Association for Sunday trading in Stanthorpe and Warwick, citing a boost in employment, wider consumer choice and support for the tourism industry.
The decision has come after a hearing into both applications which spanned over a week in February.
NRA chief executive officer Dominique Lamb said the Commission was required to test each application against a range of criteria set out in the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act, including the needs of the community, the potential impact on all types of businesses, and the net effect on employment.
"On balance, the Commission found that these two applications met the required criteria, and has ruled that large stores will be able to trade on Sundays and most public holidays from July 12,” Ms Lamb said.
The Commission's decision acknowledged independent research by QUT which found 75 per cent support for extended hours in Warwick, with only 22 per cent opposed. In Stanthorpe the figures were 68 per cent in favour and 26 per cent against.
"Consumers who supported the extended hours listed greater choice, convenience, increased employment and extra foot traffic for smaller retailers as their key reasons for backing the proposal,” Ms Lamb said.
In determining the Stanthorpe application, the Commission found "the consumer interests in Stanthorpe... would be positively served by the granting of the application”.
The Commission dismissed a third application for extended trading in Pittsworth.
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