The latest bid by the Liberal State Government to deregulate shopping hours in Millicent and the rest of South Australia has again been defeated in the Upper House by the Labor Party and crossbench MLCs.
Under legislation dating back to 1977, Millicent has a rare regulated status which prevents the town’s two larger supermarkets from trading on most nights, Sundays and public holidays.
Treasurer Rob Lucas tabled a Bill on Thursday afternoon to put the deregulation proposal to a binding plebiscite at the State election in March.
Mr Lucas said the only compulsory trading closures would be Good Friday, Christmas Day and the morning of Anzac Day.
However, his Bill was defeated 12-7 in the Upper House.
The previous deregulation bid by his party a few years ago also met similar resistance in the chamber.
Mr Lucas said the State Government would still take the shopping hours issue to the 2022 election.
“We know there’s much more work to be done, which is why we will be campaigning on this popular issue right up until the next State election in March,” Mr Lucas said.
Earlier in the day, Business SA withdrew its support for full deregulation of shop trading hours in Adelaide.
The state’s peak business lobby is instead recommending Saturday evening trade only be extended from 5pm to 6pm, with Sunday morning trade only brought forward from 11am to 9am.