The ARA support the Tasmanian Government’s initiatives to legislate for Bag Check Code

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Sunday 18 November 2018: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) commends Tasmanian Premier, Hon Will Hodgman MP and the Tasmanian Government on their initiatives to implement the Tasmanian Bag Check Code of Conduct (the Code)ahead of the Security and Investigations Agents Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill) debate in Parliament next week.

Tasmanian Minister for Resources, Hon Sarah Courtney MP, will be making an announcement this Sunday regarding the Bill, which fulfils the Tasmanian Government’s election commitment to crackdown on shoplifting.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said the Bill and the Code together will assist in alleviating the significant financial burden shoplifting places on small and large retailers.

“Annual retail industry turnover amounts to over $310 billion across Australia and in Tasmania alone, retail turnover is in excess of $6.1 billion. With an approximate loss of $216 million from theft in Tasmania, this is an ongoing concern for the retailers and the industry,” Mr. Zimmerman said.

“With Christmas just around the corner, shoplifting is set to be at its highest across this peak trading period. Current laws stipulate that retailers must employ a licensed security guard if they want to search a customer’s bag when on the business premises, which adds further costs to retailers.”

The Tasmanian Government is legislating to allow retailers large or small to enable bag checks to be physically inspected by retail staff as a condition of entry. The Bill is intended to protect the livelihood of Tasmanian retailers and provide stability to protect the longevity of the retail industry.

“The passage of this legislation will deliver certainty to consumers, by assisting in reducing retail theft by ensuring bags checks are conducted in an appropriate and regulated manner,” Mr. Zimmerman said.

“We would like to thank the Tasmanian Government for not inventing new guidelines, but for using the ARA guidance material that was originally developed for retailers in New South Wales,” Mr. Zimmerman said.

“The ARA encourages all States and Territories across Australia to follow in the lead of New South Wales and Tasmania in implementing the ARA’s guidelines to ensure a nationally consistent approach.”

Retailers can stay informed and up-to-date with the latest developments and guidance by visiting

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, call the ARA Media team on 0439 612 556 or email


About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the country’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As Australia’s leading retail peak industry body, the ARA is a strong pro-active advocate for Australian retail and works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.


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