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A letter to the Editor opposing restrictions on shopping hours for major supermarkets, published in The Canberra Times on 3 June 1996, p.10

Once again, the Government is going to reduce our freedom because it thinks it is better for us. Apparently some suburban supermarkets are closing down because of the extended trading hours of the large supermarket chains. The obvious solution, we are told, is to restrict the chains' trading hours.

But what is the problem to which the solution is directed? Is it incumbent upon the Government to protect the suburban supermarkets? It seems to think so. But why not leave shopping decisions where they belong, with the shoppers? Does the ACT Liberal Government, which I voted for on the basis of it being more free-enterprise in orientation than Labor, believe that the shop-keepers should decide where the shoppers may shop?

Every ACT resident who has ever done any grocery shopping will know why the chains are thriving at the expense of the locals: the chains offer a greater range of choices and their prices are markedly lower. Imposing trading restrictions will force many who cannot afford it to buy lesser products at higher prices. This is not what free-enterprise is all about.

© 1996 - Stephen Dawson