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Archbishop opposes extended shop trading hours

Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle has opposed plans to deregulate Tasmania's shop trading hours, warning that economics and convenience should not be the only considerations, but that the "special nature" of Sunday should be retained.

He also urged that consideration be given to the impact extended trading would have on the lives of many people.

"In the traditions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, there has been a common feature, that of one day of the week being special and being different," he said. "The common themes have been those of a day of rest, a day of recreation and a day of worship...There still seems to be a desire in the community to see Sunday as being
different, being special, and rightly so."

Archbishop Doyle said that even if people do not want to be part of a formal act of worship on Sunday, it is still important for the to have a day of rest and recreation.

Archbishop Doyle said that if society is to retain the special character of Sunday, some boundaries are necessary.
"If the extension of Sunday trading will bring about an increase in the market share of the larger companies at the expense of smaller businesses," he said. "Then I believe we have to stop and consider the directions we are taking a little more closely."

Catholic Media Office (TAS)  

25 Mar 2002