Last Monday Lake Macquarie councillors voted in a majority 9:3 supporting the decision to send a motion to the Local Government NSW annual conference calling for Boxing Day trading to be ceased.
Cr John Gilbert is leading the charge to keep shops closed on the day, saying the decision to trade unfairly impacts those who work in the hospitality and retail industries.
"Boxing Day trading is something where the people who are working are predominantly single parents and younger people who are students," he said.
"They feel compelled to have to work on Boxing Day because they're concerned about job security, and what's happening is that it's taking them away from their families and loved ones at Christmas time."
According to Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser this is only the first step in a long process. The Local Government conference will meet in December which will serve as an opportunity for all local councils to voice their opinion on the issue.
"Once we get a notice of motion...when that comes up for debate...that's when we will talk to the community about it. We haven't canvassed the community yet so it's very, very early stages," Mayor Fraser said. "We need to find out from the community and retail industry exactly their feelings on this issue."
Meanwhile, the Hunter Business Chamber has labelled the move to axe Boxing Day trading as 'impulsive'.
|Councillor John Gilbert|
|Mayor Kay Fraser|