Daylight saving a bright idea for Queensland business


The introduction of daylight saving in Queensland could offer operational, economic and workplace benefits to business

Daylight saving a bright idea for Queensland business
Daylight saving a bright idea for Queensland business

April 15, 2010

The introduction of daylight saving in Queensland could offer "substantial" operational, economic and workplace benefits to the state’s businesses, according to industry.

Despite previously voting against daylight saving in Queensland, Premier Anna Bligh today held a snap meeting in Brisbane to get the ball rolling on a public poll.

"I've asked my caucus today to go back to their electorates, to be talking to their constituents, to doorknock, to have street stalls, and to come back when parliament next sits with a response from their constituents on the idea of having a say," she says.

Today’s meeting follows Independent MP Peter Wellington’s call for a referendum at the next state election on daylight saving for south east Queensland.

A BETTER ‘WORK-LIFE’ BALANCE

With the possibility of daylight saving now back on the agenda, industry groups and experts are quick to come forward in support of the move.

Australian Industry Group (Queensland) Director Chris Rodwell has this morning spoken out about potential impacts on business.

He says Ai Group’s membership see daylight saving as a way to achieve a better work-life balance, cut travel time and costs, and improve state coordination.

"An earlier Ai Group member survey found that over 70 percent of businesses in South-East Queensland support the introduction of daylight saving in Queensland. For businesses across Queensland, about 60 percent supported daylight savings."

According to Rodwell, the current situation – which sees Queensland one hour behind Victoria and New South Wales for six months of the year – costs business.

"In our 2008 survey, some businesses cited costs in the millions of dollars during the southern state daylight saving period.

"One business in the Textile, Clothing and Footwear industry believed the situation costs their business $2.5 million per year. Another in the construction materials sector said it costs $2.3 million per year."

BIG STEP FORWARD FOR BUSINESS

Griffith University small business expert Own Wright agrees the introduction of daylight saving would be a "big step forward" for all businesses south of Townsville.

Wright says research has shown small businesses are indifferent about daylight savings, but do want times to be aligned, whether that is daylight savings time or regular time.

"Most businesses small or otherwise have many affiliations with interstate businesses especially in New South Wales and Victoria," he says.

"The affects of daylight saving have a strong impact on the administrative side of most small businesses - this would certainly strongly focus in the Gold Coast and the northern New South Wales area."

A website will reportedly be set up to allow people their say on daylight saving before parliament returns on May 18.



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