Melbourne Archbishop opposes Victorian trading reforms
Archbishop Denis Hart yesterday expressed opposition to a Victorian government move to soften trading restrictions on religious holidays.
Archbishop Hart said the proposed legislation would make it difficult for families to attend religious services together on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
"A process whereby these days will eventually become like any other day of the week would rob Victoria of golden opportunities of necessary self-reflection," he said.
"Limits ought to be placed on excessive retail opportunities," he said. " Family life must come before further economic profit."
"The vast majority of Victorians are Christians. They ought to be totally free to pursue their religious sentiments on days that are quite different from any other day."
Small businesses with 20 employees or less will be free to open on public holidays under legislation introduced yesterday by the Victorian government.
Petrol stations, chemists, restaurants, cafes and takeaway outlets, and hire outlets such as video stores, will be able to open regardless of staff numbers.
Small Business Minister Marsha Thomson said the changes, which apply on Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day morning, simplify shop trading laws and leave opening hour decisions to small retailers.
Church opposes trading reforms (AAP/news.com.au)
Shop Trading Reform - Put Families Before Profits (Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne)
Archdiocese of Melbourne
Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
Adelaide Church calls for restraint on Easter trading hours (4/3/03)
[Hobart] Archbishop opposes extended shop trading hours (25/3/02)
7 Nov 2003