Thursday, January 11, 2007


"ACTING Premier Eric Ripper has listened to PerthNow readers - and backed down from his push for Sunday trading and extended shopping hours."

Ripper abandons Sunday trading

I don't mean Sunday trading in Perth (or the lack of it) is interesting, I mean it's interesting that a senior government minister changed his mind after reading the feedback comments on a news story posted to the internet.

Obviously there were other factors: "Mr Ripper said he had 'listened to radio talkback, read letters to the editor and the hundreds of emails posted on the PerthNow website and spoken to the community, caucus colleagues and the relevant union and business'."

When the average citizen is ushered into the presence of a government minister they're usually awe-struck. But you just know that people will say things on the net which they'd never say in person. Not only that, unlike the immediacy of talkback radio opinions posted to news stories are visible after the fact, and as many a blog owner has discovered, more and more people pile in to have their say, tempers fray, fights break out and so on.

Anyway, I'm in no way a political animal but this did seem to be a case of everyday people telling government what they wanted, and getting it.

PerthNow is the online site for our Sunday newspaper. Comments are a relatively recent innovation, even if they're common elsewhere. In fact, I once left a comment on Perthnow about housing, only to have a journalist from the paper email to ask whether she could get a photo & interview. It didn't happen, probably because she realised I'd be wearing a Hal Spacejock T-shirt, cap, keyring, forehead banner tattoo and anything else I could print up in time ...

Anyway, now people know they can chime in on a story and maybe even influence government policy, this could get really interesting. Instead of moaning down the pub, you can moan online where Big Brother (not the TM version) is listening.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


Julia Buckley said...

Gosh. I don't know what's more surprising about that - the fact that policy was influenced by the comments or that people over there aren't keen on Sunday shopping.

Simon Haynes said...

Heh - we've only had Saturday afternoon trading since the 90's. We used to have petrol rosters too: Only a handful of gas stations were allowed to open after 5pm weeknights and on the weekends, and you had to buy the Saturday paper (there's only one) to find out which stations would be open the following week.

If that sounds zany, try this one: they recently got rid of a law preventing supermarkets selling packs of meat after noon Saturdays where the pack contained 500gm (1 lb) or more. It was to stop them putting all the butchers out business.

All our shopping centers close at 5pm weeknights & on Saturday but we do have late night trading on Thurdays where they can stay open until 9pm.

If you think I'm making that up just visit and check the opening times for any metro store (e.g. Riverton, Morley and so on.)

On the plus side it means road traffic is pretty thin on the ground after 6pm. And there are lots of delis and smaller supermarkets open for foodstuffs. But you can't go out 6pm Tuesday for a network card or a new TV.

Kim Stagliano said...

Greetings from Miss Snark's blog! "Coffee Tea or Synopsis" is a play on an old adage. Before flight attendants were 50 year old women with mustache's, they were young, single (they were fired if they married) and had weight and looks requirements. The joke was "Coffee? Tea? or Me?" My MIL flew for American in the 1950's - and she looks like Grace Kelly, even today. The men were, ah, grabby and interested in more than the coffee and tea she poured.

Word ver: gboobbh "Good Boobs" aussie style?

Martin Livings said...

Man, it's gonna be a shock to the system when we get back from London in a few weeks... 3am on a Monday? Need milk? No sweat! ;)

Simon Haynes said...

Now now, Martin. You know you can buy milk at 3am from one of the 24 hour petrol stations. They just haven't got around to selling petrol from supermarkets yet.

Julia Buckley said...

That does sound kind of strange to me. I had no idea. I'm a 24 hour kind of person, I think I'd find all that a bit annoying. I like going to the supermarket at weird times, feels like I'm being a bit subversive or something. Yes, that is HOW SAD I am!