Navigating the complexity of this year’s holiday trading hours

To help members navigate the various state-based rules around trading hours over the upcoming holiday period, we have created this useful tool. Here are links to information about extended hours through December 2023 and January 2024.

ACT  No restrictions; apart from Christmas Day – closed. 
NSW   No restrictions; apart from Christmas Day – closed. 
NT  No restrictions, apart from Christmas Day – closed; Other restrictions may apply to sale of alcohol.  
QLD  There are extended hours in the lead up to Christmas and restrictions apply for public holidays over the period, depending on type of retailer and location. Full information can be found here, where you can download summary tables:   

Christmas trading hours | Business Queensland 

SA  Extended trading hours in the lead up to Christmas can be found here:  

Special trading arrangements | SafeWork SA 

TAS  No restrictions, apart from Christmas Day closed for major retailers and larger franchise groups (over 250 employees). 
VIC  No restrictions; apart from Christmas Day- closed.
WA  Extended hours for general retail in Perth Metropolitan area can be found here:  

WA-Trading-Hours.pdf ( 


ARA advocates for complete deregulation of trading hours  

The ARA is a strong advocate for the complete deregulation of retail trading hours to provide retailers with the flexibility to trade at the hours that suit their business and customers.   

Deregulation enables flexibility and allows retailers to cater for local demand which can vary considerably across Australia, especially as we adapt to new ways of living and working, post-pandemic.  

Consumers have access to online, often overseas-based retailers 24/7 and while bricks and mortar retailers do not necessarily want or need to be open 24/7, they do need the flexibility to tailor trading hours to meet the expectations of their customers and remain competitive.   

We strongly believe that consumers should be able to shop where and when they like. The current settings in those states that have not yet deregulated are restrictive for consumers, and don’t reflect this 24-hour retail economy in the 21st century. 


How trading hours are regulated in each State/Territory  

Trading hours are subject to regulation at the state and territory level. While some jurisdictions only regulate trading hours on public holidays and other occasions, other states restrict hours generally or have other restrictions based on geographic area or type of retailer.   

Generally, in jurisdictions that have regulations, small businesses are considered “exempt” from trading hour restrictions and it is “non-exempt” retailers, supermarkets and department stores that are most restricted in the hours that they can open.   

Public holidays also vary across states and territories and so do the restrictions that apply for these holidays.   


ACT   Deregulated   Retailers just need to be aware of public holidays.  
NSW    Some regulation of specified public holidays.   Some public holidays (Good Friday, Easter Sunday, ANZAC Day before 1pm, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are restricted under the Retail Trading Act 2008 (NSW).    

However, there are many exemptions for different types of retailers (set out in Schedule 1 of the Act), including a broad exemption for small shops which are defined as having 4 or fewer employees.  

NT  Deregulated   Retailers just need to be aware of public holidays.  
QLD  Regulated   Queensland updated its Trading (Allowable Hours) 1990 legislation with amendments in 2022, however, trading hours are still restricted according to location and/or type of retailer.   
SA  Regulated   SA has recently updated its Shop Trading Hour Act 1977 to enable less restricted trading hours, allowing most shops to now open from 9am on Sundays and Public Holidays, and to allow trading on Boxing Day for certain shops, as well as three midnight trading days in the lead up to Christmas.  
TAS  Regulated   Tasmanian trading hours are regulated under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1984 according to location and/or type of shop.   
VIC  Some regulation of specified public holidays.   Partially deregulated.  

Some restrictions apply for Christmas, Good Friday and ANZAC Day with exemptions for certain types of retailers, including cafes and chemists.   

WA  Regulated   Trading hours are regulated in WA under the Retail Trading Hours Act 1987 (WA) according to location and/or category of retailer with small retail shops unrestricted. 


Public Holidays by State/Territory   

ACT   Daylight Saving and Public Holidays in the ACT – Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate 
NSW    NSW public holidays | NSW Government 
NT   NT public holidays | NT.GOV.AU 
QLD   Public holidays | Recreation, sport and arts | Queensland Government ( 
SA   Public holidays | SafeWork SA 
TAS   Public holidays ( 
VIC   Victorian public holidays 2024 | Business Victoria 
WA   Public holidays in Western Australia | Western Australian Government ( 





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