Anzac Day Retail Trading Restrictions Spark Debate Across NSW

All large retailers will be closed for the entire day until midnight in New South Wales next Anzac Day.

The decision was announced by New South Wales Premier Chris Minns on Wednesday, sparking debates across the state.

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Previously, retail trading in NSW on Anzac Day was permitted from 1pm onwards. Still, the new measures aim to stop what Premier Minns described as “creeping commercialism” that undermines the day’s reverence.

“This decision ensures that Anzac Day remains a day of reflection and respect,” Mr Minns said.

“It’s a small sacrifice for retailers to make to honour the service and sacrifice of our veterans.”

The announcement has drawn both support and criticism. 

University of Sydney retail expert Lisa Asher voiced her concerns on the Today Show, arguing that the full-day ban would inconvenience residents who rely on retail access for daily needs. 

“In a free society, we should have the freedom to choose how we commemorate,” Ms Asher said.

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“Closing large retailers for the entire day imposes an unnecessary burden on many NSW residents.”

The Today Show host Karl Stefanovic said: “We’re talking about one day where we can pause and reflect,” Stefanovic argued. “It’s not about inconvenience; it’s about respect.”

Support for the extended restrictions came from other quarters, including Acting Industrial Relations Minister Tara Moriarty, who also highlighted the importance of consistency in honouring Anzac Day throughout the day.

The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) also provided evidence with public polls showing significant community backing for the extended closure. 

SDA state secretary Bernie Smith said the day was significant for all Australians, including retail workers.

“Anzac Day is a solemn occasion that deserves our collective respect,” Smith affirmed. “It’s a day to honour our veterans, and closing shops for the entire day is a small but meaningful gesture.”

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